Saturday, 9 July 2011

More on Malta's bus problems

The following was posted and dated today Friday 8th July.
Arriva is bringing over depot managers and other support staff from Britain and Portugal to help in the running of the Malta bus service, it was revealed today.
The company has already brought over some 60 drivers to fill the gaps after scores of Maltese drivers did not show up for work.
International CEO David Martin, replying to questions at a press conference this afternoon, said that perfection in the sense of the high standards expected by Arriva, would take 'months' if one also included the route network (which is defined by the Transport Authority). However, in terms of the current system itself, Arriva is committed to deliver full services as soon as possible and will use all resources to do that.
Mr Martin is in Malta to assess the situation amid a storm of protests over the way the new bus service was introduced on Sunday.
He said that after the no show by close to a hundred Maltese drivers, the company had temporarily brought over British, Spanish and Dutch drivers to fill the gaps and more buses were now operating.
He confirmed that Arriva has switched off the telematic system - the IT system which administers the schedules and the electronic signage on the buses - saying the system would be deployed again once problems had been overcome and the system could be followed.
Mr Martin thanked the Arriva drivers and other workers who had worked hard in difficult circumstances over the past few days and said they were already bringing in new standards and had won appreciation by commuters.
The bus system for Malta was among the most sophisticated, he said, and matters could not be perfected overnight, but visible improvements would be seen constantly in the coming days.
He also played down breakdowns in a number of buses, including their air-conditioning systems.