April 1st 2006 saw the opening of a new chapter in public transport in Benalmádena with the arrival of the ‘orange line’ urban bus service. Two years later, however, the service has had to be reduced, having run up debts of more than 1.5 million euros, explained the Mayor, Javier Carnero.
To this end the Town Hall has met with Portillo, the firm with the contract to run the service, and restructured the routes to allow the local authority to make a saving of some 150,000 euros, when the original scheme generated losses of 500,000 euros a year.
Carnero pointed out that the firm is paid some 600,000 euros a year to run the service but the income from bus fares amounts to less than 100,000.
“We had to adapt the service to the financial reality of Benalmádena and the way to do this was to cut down the lines”, said Carnero, who added that now two circular routes would cover 82 per cent of the municipality, costing the local authority some 350,000 euros a year instead of 500,000.
In any case the councillor for Transport, Sandra Martín explained that areas now excluded from the routes were still covered by the inter-urban services. For example the orange line no longer covers part of the Avenida Antonio Machado and the Puerto Marina area but this can be reached using the more frequent Torremolinos-Fuengirola buses. Similarly the Capellanía area will still be covered by the Arroyo de la Miel-Mijas service and users in Carola and Patronato can use the buses that link this area to Torremolinos.
From now on the Town Hall will control the number of passengers using these buses and their frequency.