Maligned bendy buses to be sold abroad

Articulated buses set to be sold abroad, minister says.

The end of the bendy bus.
The end of the bendy bus.

The controversial bendy buses will be sold abroad, Transport Minister Joe Mizzi said in an interview with Illum. 

The articulated buses were among the assets that the government took over from Arriva, even though the transport ministry made it clear to the company that it was not ready to acquire them.

“During the negotiations on Arriva’s departure, we told them we were not interested in the bendy buses in order to bring down the price. Following the negotiations, I gave a closer look to the final version of the agreement and despite our stand, we discovered that the bendy-buses were still on Transport Malta’s books,” Mizzi explained.

However, the minister said there was no chance of seeing the bendy-buses again on the road, pointing out the government’s intention to sell the buses abroad.

Among the other assets, the government also inherited the park and ride spaces, the vehicles,  the operating licence and the IT infrastructure.

He did not rule out that the park and ride spaces will not be given automatically to Arriva’s successor, saying the government had other plans.

“Under Arriva’s tenure, the park and rides spaces were seldomly used, often left empty. We intend to slash the prices established by Arriva and just introduce a nominal fee. The income generated will not be substantial, but it will certainly help to alleviate traffic flow.”

Last year, Transport Malta and Arriva agreed on phasing out the articulated buses due to a series of traffic accidents, before three separate buses caught fire during the summer months forcing the transport minister to remove them from the road.

Read more in tomorrow’s edition of Illum

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