The Pablo Ráez boulevard in Marbella was the setting on Tuesday for the launch of the town's new and improved bus service.
Avanza-Portillo, who won the contract, has overseen the complete renewal of the town's fleet of buses. The 19 new vehicles, all Mercedes, were put into operation throughout the day on Wednesday. They are fully adapted for passengers with mobility issues. They are also equipped with GPS technology so passengers can see their exact location on the 68 screens installed at bus stops, as well as Wi-Fi and USB charging points and CCTV cameras.
The number of the buses in operation remains the same, but a number of improvements have been implemented to step up the service. These include the creation of new routes, alterations to existing ones and the possibility of calling upon "reserve" vehicles at times of high demand.
One new route will now see Cabopino served by buses for the first time, while there are new routes between La Cañada and El Ángel and Puerto Banús-San Pedro-El Salto. There is also a new circular route in San Pedro and two nighttime routes (La Cañada-San Pedro and Cabopino-Marbella) will operate with the option for solo female passengers to alight where you like.
Free travel for residents
The launch coincided this week with the delivery of free bus passes for those registered on the 'padrón' in the town.
Some 1,200 people collected their passes, valid from 1 May, on the first day, with a total of around 31,000 expected to follow before the end of the month.