New route will be one of the few profitable lines in Palma, claim workersThe workers' committee of the EMT, the municipal bus companmy, has rejected the administration board's decision to privatise the proposed Tourist Bus. A union spokesman said yesterday that it would be against the interests of city residents. The tourist bus, which will be Line 50, was due to be introduced next year, although it has not been decided if it will be one of the company's existing fleet of buses or a double decker bus. The unions claim that it will be one of the few routes run by the company to show a profit and to privatise it would put jobs at risk and also endanger working conditions. In a communique the unions accused the management of an abusive attitude towards its workers, and claimed it did not respect the collective wage agreeement. The communique also claimed that company chairman Pedro Alvares uses the EMT as a platform to promote his political career within the Popular Party (PP). It claims that he unveiled the new fleet of buses five times and describes the depot where the buses are parked at night as being in a deplorable state. The workers are due to hold a meeting on January 9 to discuss steps to be taken to bring pressure to bear on the company. The EMT has invested heavily in a new fleet of buses and has been revising its service in an effort to encourage more people to use public transport and leave their cars at home. One of the new services is the Number 2 bus, which makes a circuit of the old part of the city and is aimed primarily at tourists. Plans for a tourist bus on the lines of those found in other cities such as London or Dublin were first mooted earlier this year. There has also been talk of providing a bus link between the port and Son Sant Joan airport. The company has improved the times of the Genova bus, although there were some complaints when the route was changed. The frequency of the Number 1 bus which provides a service to the Paseo Marítimo and the port of Palma has been increased from every 60 minutes to every half hour and the route has been modified, so that it now enters the passenger terminal. Also on the return trip from the Dique del Oeste towards Palma, it now goes along the Calle Joan Miró. In this way it offers people living in the Portopi area an alternative to the Number 3 bus for reaching the city centre.
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