Council legalizes agreement with bus company for over 65s

The new tender calls for a minimum of 10 daily services during the winter season.

The bus stop in the historic centre of Xàbia

Tuesday 2nd February 2021 | CARLOS LÓPEZ (Xàbia AL DÍA)

Xàbia Council is putting the provision of an urban transport service for people over 65 years of age out to tender. This specific service has been provided by the company currently responsible for the bus route under an agreement with the local government for many years at a cost of 12,000 euros a year, which has meant that over 65s who hold a gold card can travel for free on the public bus service.

However, this agreement, like the majority of those signed annually by the local government board, have had to adapt to current legislation as well as becoming regulated contracts. It has already happened with cultural associations and groups, so now it is happening with urban transport for seniors.

The specifications, which have published on the State contracting platform, state that Xàbia Council will pay a maximum of 0.85 euros per trip, with an annual total journey of 16,150 journeys. In return, the company which is awarded the contract will receive a total of 12,480 euros (excluding IVA).

A minimum of 10 daily services between September and March

The specification also states that the winning company must provide a minimum service which will have 10 daily services running from September 15th to March 31st, with departures from the bus station starting at 8.00am and the last service at 8.00pm. From Cala Blanca (Supermercado Saladar), there must also be ten services between 8.30am and 8.30pm. The only fixed times are the first and last services in both directions. The other eight services “may be distributed on an hourly basis, except for noon breaks that are considered appropriate”.

For the rest of the year, the service “should be extended, with prior and defined motivation from the Council”.

Vehicle with a capacity “greater than 20 seats” and 60 annual trips

The specifications of the contract also detail that “the service must be carried out using a vehicle with a capacity greater than 20 seats, which has the necessary documentation for the transport of passengers by road, including favourable technical inspections as well as current accident insurance. It must be suitable for use by people with reduced mobility”.

The specifications also detail the objectives of the service:

  • Guarantee access to urban transport by the group; which will additionally imply the use and enjoyment of the different municipal services and buildings (libraries, sports facilities, social centre, music conservatory, language school, cemeteries and municipal offices in general).
  • Expand the use of collective transport within sustainable urban mobility.
  • Promote the local economy, guaranteeing the access of the group to urban centres and traditional commerce.
  • Improve the quality of life and care of the group.

In response to questions from XAD, the councillor Pepa Gisbert (Transport) explained that the motivation for this new contract was to resolve the objections with which the invoices of the old agreement were paid. And she recalled that for a few years the local government has been taking “everything” into a public contract to avoid those reports issued by the Intervention area.

In terms of transport, Gisbert herself has commented that there is another public contract that they had to put out to public tender, which was the transport of the teams from the different clubs in Xàbia to the other towns where the matches are played.

Click below to read this story in Spanish on Xàbia AL DIA