Saturday, 12 June 2010

Is There Really Such a Thing as a Free Bus Ride?

The recent announcement by the GSD Government that there will be a "free" bus service to the beaches during the official summer bathing season, no doubt, will be seen as good.  A popular move by a governing party that is facing elections within 18 or so months but fast losing popularity.  This perk comes after so much criticism has been leveled against it recently on the subject of beaches.

That there may be a need for an additional bus service to the beaches is not in issue but, a slightly deeper consideration of the move to make this service "free",  does raise a few questions.  First, nothing is free.  The buses cost money.  Their added use causes them to deteriorate and lose value for which no reward is being received.  They need to be maintained and repaired.  They need fuel.  They need drivers and support by other manpower.  All of these cost a substantial amount of money.  This cost has to be met from government revenues, which in turn, in the main, is raised from us by direct and indirect taxation.

This all means that a few are being benefited by the many for that few to enjoy what is a leisure pursuit.  Those few will be over the moon.  Others will ask why should anyone complain?  Well, aside from the suspicion that this move may be one more desperate ploy to gain electoral popularity,  should public moneys really be used for this purpose whilst there is such a call for it for more worthy social causes?

Please do not compare free bus trips commonly described as park and free bus rides into a busy town centre.  First these provide savings on roads,  traffic management, congestion and other indirect cash benefits.  Secondly the parking attached to such schemes usually costs enough to cover the free bus service and parking charges.

For example, Gibraltar's social services, whilst better resourced and funded by the GSD Government than ever before, are still under-resourced and in need of money.  Gibraltar has its social cases and issues.  It is a small territory with a smaller problem (in numbers) than other larger countries.  It should be possible to provide more fully, not to say fully, for the less adequate members of society.  It should be possible to have a more targeted and tailor-made social care system that gives specific help to specific cases, rather than a system that fits all sizes.  Money provided by all (and visitors to Gibraltar who pay indirect taxes) could be better deployed to help those in need than used for non-essential benefits for a minority.

Fewer "free" bus rides (save for the elderly who have paid their dues but should be paying taxes on their pensions); our governments should concentrate on making better the lives of the more needy and less fortunate amongst us.  We all know that we Gibraltarians are renowned for charitable giving and for having a generous spirit.  Application of tax moneys for such social purposes has the added benefit that, if it is explained properly, people will understand the good to which their money is being put to.  This will help to convince electors to vote for a government that has applied money to this end in greater numbers than one that spends money on unnecessary perks for a few: such an administration would be demonstrating a greater social conscience.

And guess what, if people walked a little more in Gibraltar it would solve many a traffic problem and we would all be healthier.


  1. Ghost Says:
    LW, Surely you cannot be suggesting that this free perk which as you say will indeed cost the tax payer regardless quite apart from the fact that the bus service has been running at a loss anyway is a carrot for the electorate. If there is one thing that we know about PC is that he cares little about public opinion and is driven by what he believes is in the best interest of Gibraltar, his arrogance as you have highlighted on many occasions shines through because of this - the Governors welcome speech in the house is true testament of his ability to do and say things with little diplomacy or political intention all with the single mindedness and intention to say it the way it is. On this basis I would argue that he has not quite lost the plot yet and succumbed to something as childish as you are suggesting, that being dangling a free bus service carrot - lets be serious. You make valid point on social services and pleased to hear that you acknowledge the fact that more has been done in this area than ever before...much more will of course be required, but the system as whole is beast to change a a process is in itself is by default a lengthy one.

  2. Hi Ghost:

    Why else do politicians give perks? The fact the service runs at a loss only goes to prove the point further.

    PC not care about public opinion? Surely you jest? He says it the way he gauges the pubic want to hear it. Have you not heard him on National Days? Do you not remember his changes of tack, not least on National Day rallies?

    Childish ... no! A reaction to criticism on the beaches, for sure.

  3. Fred says:

    Robert, are we saying that Mr Caruana has succumbed to "pan y circo" by popular demand?!

    I am one of those who has never understood our love affair with the car. I always find it depressing to hear the opposition banging on about the opening of new roads, when what I want to hear is how we are going to take cars off them.

    It is because of this that I quietly support the idea of free bus rides, but do agree with you that we need to think a bit more widely about social services before we implement such initiatives.

  4. Hi Fred:

    I totally agree with a comprehensive transport plan to discourage the use of cars and encourage the use of public transport but not with a random "free" service based on a populist political reaction to criticism.

  5. Robert,

    Fair point, but maybe Mr Caruana's intentions are not as cynical as we could make out? I don't know, maybe he is genuinely concerned about all the mum's and kids that would otherwise have to march to the beach.

    We cannot criticise the man for not listening and then criticise him for acting when he does. I think the proof of the pudding will be on whether all the other issues affecting the beaches are also addressed - Sandy Bay?! (Check out: If they are not then we may well see the free bus rides as a sop to the people.

    By the way, if you go into GoogleMaps and look at the waterfront in Tel Aviv you will see a series of breakwaters that look as if they are countering erosion. Could any engineers out there say whther this is what we need for Sandy Bay?

  6. LW...I assume you mean the 'public', but take your point!!

    I well remember the infamous 'No, No, Never' speech on that sweltering hot day at the Naval Ground in 1999 or was it 2000? It took all present by surprise and the generally held view was that he had 2 very different speeches prepared depending on which way he gauged the wind was blowing!!

    The free bus service to the beaches will benefit many and therefore I will bite my lip and not criticise it....It is however undoubtedly a sign that PC is desperate enough to do anything to improve the GSD's miserable showing in the polls!!....Max

  7. Incidentally.....PC has had a free ride from the electorate for the last 14 years so it's about time he gave something back!!!....Max

  8. I think the public will only contemplate using the buses more and cars less if Ministers and senior civil servants were to set the example by using the buses themselves. There is no way it would work otherwise, despite the huge expense as outlined by LW-RV above.

  9. It seems to be that the "comprehensive" Traffic and Management Plan has also been put together in great haste with no proper research conducted.

    Wait till the new Devil's Tower Rd / Runway crossings / New Tunnel are all operational - La que se nos avecina...

  10. Honney Bee says...

    Seeing as the bus service will be operating from the market stop I fail to see how it will be of any benefit to anyone who does not live in the near vicinity. How will it be of use to anyone living in the upper town or Humphreys or any where south of that for that matter ?

    Don`t get me wrong - the idea in principle is good ( carrot for the donkey or not ) but operating the service from the Market place will only benefit a few.

    As to the `free` bus service for senior citizens - state benefits should be for those who really need them and whilst there are obviously genuine cases of elderly in need there are also some who are on healthy pensions and who, as LW rightly points out, not paying tax. Surely benefits are about helping the vulnerable in society ??

  11. Hi Honney Beee:

    You raise an interesting point - the Upper Town and public transport. It is serviced by a tiny mini bus - totally inadequate.

    What it needs is some innovative thinking. I am not a Town Planner, Architect, Engineer or Transport Consultant but it strikes me that some strategically located public lifts and escalators would solve much of the problem faced by the Upper Town; some could even be located within Government owned buildings.

    This is done in Monte Carlo. Security would be an issue but CCTV would help resolve that.

  12. Ghost says:
    Ohu LW - I think on this one alguien te a meaow en el coco..:) Politicians will inevitably play to the public on is called politcs. I would ague that there are politicians who take carrot dangling to a limit which ultimately will serve no one any use and in some cases actually lead to potentially dangerous situations such as the GSLP's list of the unimaginable prior to any election or the scaremongering on things as recent as community care. I found it humorous to hear someone refer to the excellent fireworks display on Friday at Calentita night with "there go our pensions" unbelievable!

    We have reached a stage in which our democratic instinct tells us that Caruana has been in too long, and even though most will accept that he has been successful for Gib to levels that could simply not have been perceived we do require a change. Not least because on so many issues of existing works based on policy that we are seeing, the criticism is relentless for the sake of being so. LW and others above at the very least are critical but will at least provide examples of solutions or even an attempt at a vision.....and this is where we are well and truly fecked guys- like him or not PC has provided a vision that has got us this far.

    Is there another vision out there, one that can take us to new heights? One where the existing transport plan can be improved on and can magically happen at the drop of a hat and without offending anyone? Is there someone with a vision on education for our children for the next decade, on social issues, on the upper town and planning......something other than what we already hear from Caruana, which the opposition can only batter, whilst remaining incapable of providing solutions or alternatives! Where are the policies and the vision for the next 4 - 8 years I ask?

  13. Honney Bee says...

    I was in fact referring to the free bus service to the beach when mentioning the upper town, etc. We are not best known for travelling light when going to the beach and I don`t see how a service that will be operating from the Market Place to the various beaches will be of any benefit for someone living in Brympton for example carrying the beach bag, la nevera, la sombrilla, beach chairs, etc.

    Great idea in principle, but of not much use if people are going to have to use their cars to get to Market Place - and park them there too !!

  14. Fred says:

    Yes, the Gib really has not changed much for those who remember "el Numero 2 de Pedro pa i pa el Calpe".

    I like the idea of sorting out the Upper Town, but we must do it as part of a comprehensive plan that takes in transport, environment, green areas, etc.

    PS - I was the anonymous at 12:28

  15. As a resident of the exclusive south district I take the bus into town getting down at the stop by the ANGRY FRIAR every week day. The service is good and a credit to the government.

  16. Ghost

    You are asking for the next 4 to 8 years. Well, I applaud the PDP's initiative of visiting MCE, Glacis etc to talk to discuss people's concerns and needs. Yes, I know all the PDP candidates except Keith will lose their deposits next year - but in 2015, by which time the GSD may well have gone the way of the AACR, who knows.

    One of the reasons Keith left Govt is because Peter had taken far far too long to focus on real issues that affect people in their day to day lives: housing, repairs and dampproofing of flats, social services etc.

    These are the issues that Keith now wants to concentrate on. I particularly like the fact that the PDP are visiting voters door to door on a regular basis and not just once every four years when they want your votes like the other parties do.

    No, I do not belong to the PDP or any other party but I believe this is an excellent initiative that deserves attention from the electorate, at the very least.

  17. I consulted a psychic who was having a Drambuie in the Angry Friar and she told me that the PDP will get someone into parliament in a by- election in 2031. Until then their deposits will be a not completely insignificant contributor to the Gibraltarian economy.

  18. Now I wonder whether Anon 20 28, who lives in the south district and takes the bus to the Angry Friar bus stop (just by No. 6) every day, is the same Anon 22 29 who consulted the psychic when he popped into the Angry Friar? works at No. 6? Does he work at No. 6? If so, it would explain both comments. And no, I don't mean Peter.

  19. Ghost says:
    Mark, anyone plugging the PDP in the way you have is a PDP should not be embarrased by this. I think Keith made a gutsy move when he set it up, I think he made the wrong move in assuming that the GSLP would win the last election and hence began to target the GSD. This backfired on him and if he is to become credible he will need to show political honesty and whilst he may wish to beat up on PC he would do far better to show check and balance on the ability of the opposition to check balance and create vision - then we may have somthing to play for.

  20. Sorry Guys and Gals I cannot make it Tuesday at the Angry Friar (why the obsession with this pun I really don't know) as I am flying back from London ... can do Wednesday ... problem though, you know me, I do not know you. LOL

  21. Fred says:

    What do the last few posts have to do with the issue of free bus rides?!

  22. Hi Fred:

    I agree let us get back on subject.

  23. Guys....Maybe free bus rides is a limited topic...the reasons for them is much more worth exploring!!....Max

  24. A “FREE BUS RIDE” raises more than a few questions ... buses need to be maintained, drivers paid, etc. all of which as you say, cost a substantial sum of money.

    LW: “This cost [you say] has to be met from government revenues, which in turn, in the main, is raised from us by direct and indirect taxation.”

    The public will be paying for it, so what does the “GIBRALTAR BUS COMPANY” (“GBC”) have to lose in doing so? GBC will be subsidised in any event.

    Why would a Company that has been running at a loss further their losses? It is because practically it has no loses.... and it proves the point further.”

    Ghost 13.6.10 @ 11.31- You would be surprised as to how the electorate think – with only a few perks. Most of the electorate are well enough, which (fortunately but sadly) means that they need not think about deploying money to better causes such as social cases which do not affect them.

    Why should anyone complain (save for those who suffer the consequences of it)?

    The GBC started to run their business about 6 years ago in parallel to Calypso Transport Ltd the latter running their business for over 20 years.

    All the “perks” that the GBC have benefited from has resulted in Calyps Tranport’s detriment.

    What we need is legislation to be introduced to prevent “Monopolies” running businesses detrimental to others, by undermining their ability to compete. We need to have control over such competitive behaviour.

    In the last 16 yrs fares have been fares have been increased twice – 1994 / 2004 currently 60p for adults and 40p for children. In April 2007 provision was made to provide free bus passes for persons over 70.

    Under EC Regulations : “A competent authority providing its own transport services or internal operator should be prohibited from taking part in competitive tendering procedures outside the territory of that authority. The authority controlling internal operations should also be allowed to prohibit this operator from taking part in competitive tenders organised within its territory.... Directly awarded public service contracts should be subject to greater transparency.... and if a public service contract is awarded in a fair competitive tendering procedure, a public service contract may have a longer duration.”

    Non-consultation with other bus operators, different treatment between operators, etc. etc. is thought for criticism.

    LW– “this perk cannot be compared to park and ride schemes” which in any event cater for larger town areas.

    Public money should indeed be used for worthy social causes not for “non-essential benefits for the minority.”

    LW - “Nothing is for free”

    How much has the GIBRALTAR BUS COMPANY been compensated for these perks to date?

    Compensation cannot exceed what is necessary to cover all or part of the cost incurred in the discharge of public service and compliance is essential to ensure that the recipient undertaking is not given an advantage which distorts or threatens to distort competition by strengthening that undertakings competitive position.

    I totally agree with a comprehensive transport plan to discourage the use of cars and encourage the use of public transport but if a public service obligation is to be imposed on any operator it should be put out to tender with fair competitive procedures.

  25. Hi Max

    Free buses is a limited topic but better social care is enormous surely?

  26. Like others here have stated, the bus starting from Market Place defeats the point really. The word FREE is going to attract a lot of attention but when you read the small print a lot of people will forego this service.

    Buses are somthing that taxpayers money should be spent on and they should not stop running at 9pm. There should be a skeleton service after 9pm. During the day buses should run more frequently, the buses are full in the mornings and some people have to wait 15 minutes for the next one which is also full. Obviously there is a market for bus users but the company don't seem to have done their market research. That silly van which goes up to the upper town is a crazy idea, have you tried getting on that thing? It's bad enough for a lone person with a bag of shopping let alone elderly people and parents with pushchairs.

    Our bus fares are very cheap, it's a one-price-whaterver-the-journey system, that could be reviewed quite easily. Put up the prices but give consessions to those who are eligible but expand the system. The government keep saying they are going to develop the sytem but they just don't do it.

  27. Ghost

    I am not a fan of the PDP - or of any other party for that matter. I used to like the Labour Party but was very disappointed when they sold their souls to the GSD. Now I support no-one. Others on this blog don't seem to like it but I am independent so I feel free to praise or criticise as the case may be.

    However, I agree with LWRV that we desperately need a change of government next year. We cannot let the GSD do further damage to Gibraltar, with heritage (Theatre Royal, Rosia Tanks, concrete jungle etc) being a case in point. By the way, has the grand old staircase at the Supreme Court now been demolished (its imminent demolition was discussed in a previous forum)?

    You asked whether any party has interesting policies and vision for the next 4 to 8 years and I replied that I liked the PDP's focus on housing, buildings & works, and social services.

    I particularly applaud them for visiting voters from door to door throughout the year and not just once every four years when they want your vote. I think the PDP might stand a good chance in the 2015 general election when the GSD might no longer be around.

    The PDP are focusing on real issues that affect people in areas where the barristocracy and business moguls that rules Gibraltar do not often tread: MCE, Laguna etc.


    I think you've hit the nail on the head: "Most of the electorate are well enough, which (fortunately but sadly) means that they need not think about deploying money to better causes such as social cases which do not affect them."

    But the topic is buses and yes, I do think the bus service is one of the better things that the GSD have achieved whilst in office although at what human and financial cost. It was said at the time that the CM put such huge pressure on certain private sector operators to get the thing moving that it cost them their health. They were consequently unable to deliver so the Government took over.

    Yes, the buses should be used more, tourists should not be permitted to enter town in their cars and sales of cars locally should be restricted as they are in Singapore. However, the above will only work if Ministers set the example by travelling to work and back by bus.

    The answer is not to build more roads and car parks. The answer is fewer cars on our roads!

  28. LW 00.46....Yes I agree with you entirely.

    Huge sums of money have been squandered on the 'White Elephant' airport,Theatre Royal debacle, countless imported 'experts', the 'state of the art' hospital, subsidies to dodgy airlines, Ministers 'Jolly' club class trips, 'dignified' and ENORMOUS Ministerial pay rises etc etc etc......

    On the flipside we have a Gibraltar which has become the home of the 'haves' and the 'have nots' !! Luxury housing developments galore towering over 'ghetto' style and slightly better than Third world Government housing estates.

    The Upper Town (remember all those promises PC?)is a crumbling disgrace and I have overheard tourists who accidentally stumbled upon it comparing it to Beirut!!

    The much heralded 'Cordoba Agreement' has given us unlimited telephone numbers and pretty much bugger all else!!Frontier queues are as long as ever and 50 million on an Airport we don't need is a huge price to pay for one mans ego trip!!!

    'El Cordobes' should set an example and start walking the short distance from Irish Town to No 6. I suspect however that he rather enjoys being paraded before the 'peasants' in his chauffeur driven Jaguar!!!!....Max

  29. LLanita from Gibraltar says...

    but ultimately no one has reached the real reason behind this 'free' bus.

    The few beaches we have in Gibraltar are the one thing Gibraltarians enjoy for 12 weeks of the year regardless of age, sex, political inclinations, social backround, etc. Its not very hard to provide adequate facilities for all the beaches in time for the bathing season to begin in June and yet, year after year, we get the same mad panic to finish on time so that by the Saturday of the queen's birthday long weekend, the paint is still wet!

    The beaches need more changing rooms, better access and more parking because some people out there may be able to go to the beach with a towel, suncream and a healthy wallet but, there are many, many more than the alternative, that need to take chairs, umbrellas, tables, toys, pushchairs, cooler bags, beach bags, etc.

    Everybody that sits in eastern beach knows that come the summer you need to have lay-bys available for a car to drive up, empty out what's needed on the day, e.g. si es levante fuerte, lo surfboards se quedan en el coche,etc. How did this not enter into the equation when that particular road was chosen to solve a frontier queue for returning spanish workers & expat gibraltarians living in spain!

    Not everybody can afford a house/pool in spain or the fees of the calpe/med/yacht club or have a pool at home in Gib and for many, this is THE holiday the kids are going to have!

    So, I don't think its much to ask of any Government to provide one thing every year for ALL the people to enjoy after all, drive towards the sea front on the spanish side just past the frontier, and whilst we have spent all our money on an airport for 3 planes a day, they have spent theirs on improving la playa del levante for their people.

    Its madness!!

  30. Llanita, you are so right!!!

    Another thing, why does the bathing season (in other words keeping beaches clean and opening the toilets whether you bathe or not)start now? I, and many other people because I see them, have been going to the beaches all year. I have trained my whole family in the art of bladder expansion...

    Pissing in public is a punishable offence but I see people doing it all the time in various parts of rural Gibraltar because there are no toilet facilities.

  31. LLanita.....Having spent the last 3 years as an 'expat Gibraltarian' through necessity, rather than choice, I would agree with you.

    The beaches in La Linea are maintained impeccably throughout the year whilst ours become 'rubbish dumps' when not used!!

    What kind of impression does that make on the tourists we are seemingly so desperate to attract???

    I would be surprised if the new 50 million pound Airport brought in 3 flights a day....In my humble opinion that says a lot about a Government that has totally lost the plot!!...Max

  32. Well said Llanita from Gibraltar! It always seems that other countries are more keen to look after their own as opposed to us.I do not want to go into the instances where we do not put the Gibraltarians first-as I will be diverting from the current topic.
    The main thing that has been on my mind is how on earth are beach goers are going to take all their beach stuff on the bus? I mean at least we have the cooler bag, the towel bag, the umbrella,maybe a couple of chairs, the bag of toys-will there be a bus to carry all our stuff? I always empty half my boot when I get to the beach!Many years ago, we could keep all our beach stuff in a storage room-there was a lot of trust based on this system and most people felt-tipped their surnames with black permanent markers to prevent theft!-we do not even have this anymore,which with a little thought, could be done with no fear of having your stuff stolen.
    I cannot see how this is a good idea in practice. This is simply a propaganda ploy-a poor one at that, as most of us see through it and most of us will not practicably be making any use of it-just making fun of it and finding fault with this "bright idea!"
    from another Llanita..

  33. Llanita from Gibraltar is right. The people who run Gibraltar do not use our beaches. they go to Spanish beaches. But it is not just the beaches Caruana's Sotogrande hoardes have turned Gibraltar into a horrible place to live in.

  34. Llanita from Gibraltar says...

    give it a week for the spanish workers to cotton on and they'll be using the free bus to ride from the market to western beach (close enough to the frontier) acosta del pueblo - I believe this would take us to the '... y apaleao' stage!

  35. i wonder what proportion of our GDP is spent on maintaining and improving our beaches which, as llanita from gibraltar rightly says, is the holiday for many Gbraltarian kids. Close to 0% probably!!
    When was the last time, if ever at all!, that we saw Caruana gracing us with his presence at any of our beaches.
    It's Ibiza for him not el quarry o la caleta!

  36. What a fantastic debate all round, well done RV for providing this excellent forum where people can air their veiws and thanks to all those who contribute and whose views mirror general public opinion, basically that by now everyone is fed up of the current government and can see through desparate last minute ploys attempting to win back the electorate. Its too little too late and too much damage has been caused to El Penon and to the ordinary Gibraltarians.

  37. It is a nonsense to say that Peter's friends live in Sotogrande and therefore he goes to their beaches. Dont you go to the beach with your friends? Is this man not entitled to go to whatever beach he wishes. How many times do your bloggers go to beaches in Spain and yet no one dares point there finger at you. Freedom of where to go applies to all and sundry or does Freedom only applies to those who want to see an administration which is both stable and good for Gibraltar. It seems that this administration can do no good.

  38. This blog topic appears to have been exhausted. Or could it be that now that summer hours have commenced everything is slowing down?

    Now that might be an interesting (and controversial) topic for LWRV's next blog: shake-up of government services, including abolition of summer hours!

  39. What's all this abouut the angry?

  40. People:

    The reality is that I do not intend to attend at the Angry Friar because I do not know who any of you are.

    First things first, if you are prepared to be seen at the Angry Friar you must be prepared to put your name to your comments ... so do that and then lets see if we take it further and all meet.

  41. To anonymous 00:20

    You are missing the whole point. Of course Caruana can go to whatever beach he feels like, with or without friends, at Sotogrande ,Ibiza or wherever. What is an undeniable fact is that he is paid by Gibraltar's electorate to look after our interests, and whether he may deem it or not, the beaches are very important to us the ordinary Gibraltarian. The man on the street is fed up with being sidelined by grandious multimillion pound projects engineered to appease the spanish political machinery. If a fraction of the money spent on a useless visionless airport had been targeted at beach facilities perhaps this blog would have not started in the first place!

  42. The one thing that everyone seems to have missed is the only people that get to the beach in an afternoon are those in Government work that have such a thing as summer hours. The real world work right through the day. Everyday.

  43. Free Bus Ride ?
    Gibraltarians are mainly truthful, ntelligent and law abiding people and expect those entrusted to govern to do so in an appropriate manner and not confuse the general local passiveness with unintelligent.
    Government failure to provide jet again parking facilities at the beaches cannot be rectified by introducing a so called MINI free bus, It does cost people money to get to Market Place.
    The Ministers, traffic commission and others responsible for transport who planed this breathtaking offer must have a worn-out or completely dilapidated brain .
    To ask individuals and families especially those in the upper town and in the south district to travel with their vehicle to the Market Place bus stop area which has no parking facilities and if by miracle one found a parking space they will have to unload the beach gear, food bags, push chair, fridge, baskets, beach umbrella etc. Walk 100 plus yards to the Market bus Stop with no BUS SHELTERS IN BLAZING SUN and transfer all the beach gear into the so called free bus service, can any intelligent person in government expect families to do this twice a day with their elderly and children’s is incredible, unbelievable, disrespectful and an abuse to its citizens.
    During the 2004/2007 election government promised the upper town people new buses in 2008/9 they were again ordered, the buses might eventually arrive prior to the next general election date but the upper town people will not forget GSD complete failure of the upper town in general.
    A better solution would be using the present Bus NO 4 which operates with 3 or 4 from Rosia Bay To Both Worlds, and Eastern Beach this buses travel through the town center people can get on the buses at the Queens cinema, Convent, NatWest bank line wall road, and Market steps, referendum house all this bus stops are within the normal operating The government took routes over from the other operator in 2004. they bought bigger new buses to service south area, town area, frontier workers, and tourist and completely forgot the upper town local community, sham to those who think we are less than second class. Forget the carrot it want work any more

  44. Fred says:

    What is very clear is that the beaches are not up to standard and we have a rubbish infratructure and transport plan.

    I stress again that my own view is that we must wean ourselves from cars and to more enviromentally friendly and efficient public transport.

    Having said this I have a great deal of sympathy for our people in the Upper Town area (Castillo, Calle Comedia, Calpe, Patio Policia, El Arengo, Flat Bastion, et al).

  45. Far be it from me, a nameless, faceless, tremulous "guy" who writes anonymously, to dare to even think of suggesting let alone proposing to Robert Vasquez, who manfully tore off the cloak of anonymity some while back and now writes in his own highly respected and admired name, that he might consider a Blog premised on the recent debate in the Angry Friar as to the DECLINE OF GIBRALTARIAN INSTITUTIONS. I will not complain if in a fit of understandable pique, rage even, at my audacity RV were to blow every gaskett and moderate me for ever and call me an impudent up start (this after all is RV's Blog (not any body else's, remember), but I missed the meeting last Wednesday at the Angry Friar (a most appropriate venue, in my humble view) and would like to hear more about the obvious decline, if not collapse, of basic standards in the upper echelons of our once proud community. For this post may I use the pseudonym Squidly?

  46. Anonymous....17June 08:23
    The real world is not comprised of Government Workers only. There are those mothers who do not work because they have small children and nobody to stay with them, people who work nights, pensioners who after having worked all their lifes want to enjoy summer. For most Gibraltarians summer is PLAYA, PLAYA, PLAYA.
    Sometimes we take lunch, tea and supper' two or three bathing custumes 'para que los ninos no esten mojao cuando se vaya el sol' las palas para jugar, the toys for the kids, la nevera, the chairs,the table, la sombrilla and the cards we must not forget the cards. Sometimes we take a watermelon, we dig a hole at the edge of the sea to allow the water to lap over it to keep it cool. On top of all that my three kids. How can I manage to take all that in the bus? The bus is ok. for somebody who just needs a small bag to carry the essentials, and who stays in the beach for a couple of hours.
    There are still people out here who can not afford a holiday with all the family and our holiday is the beach.
    How can the Sotogrande crowd understand this? Or any expat for that matter. I do not want a free bus ride, I want a parking space to park my old jalopy.

  47. QUESTION: Is there really such a thing as a free bus ride ANSWER:No

    WHY NOT? Because whether or not the users pay for the ride we ALL pay for the ride becuase we the tax payer are subsidising this government owned company that operates at a loss.

    Hopefully people will see this as basic bribery by a desparate government which in the long term will cost us all more.

    I also thought the same when i attended calentita night at casemates last Friday night and Seamus Byrne said countless times that the event had been brought to us by the ministry for culture. NO the event was not brought to us by the ministry of culture but rather BY THE TAX PAYING GIBRALTARIAN the same tax paying Gibraltarian who will pay for the "free" bus ride and whatever bribe the government will come up with next week. Don't get me wrong the event was a fantastic event and i look forward to it every year but please lets call a spade a spade and enough with the government propaganda.


  48. to anonymous 20:33

    it is obvious that you are speaking from the heart and based on hard earned experience. how can we expect the supremo, or his subalternos, to understand the sacred gibraltarian ritual of going to the beach? bet he's never had un bollo de carne empana en la caleta! caruana is always trigger happy in bombarding us with figures when it suits him- 60 million for this, 5 million for that - but we will never get to know what a miserly proportion of our GDP is spent on what is many gibraltarians holiday in the sun. the reason why not is because it must be so insignificant that he'd be hard pushed in defending it

  49. Anonymous
    I totally agree with Fred but having a great deal of sympathy for our people in the Upper Town area does not help them.

    What we need is action from government and or opposition and operate Route 2 as it did for over 30 years prior to GBC taking it over in 2004, from Moorish Castle to Eastern Beach.

    PC could have bought a two Toyota Buses like the ones used by all Gibraltar Tour operators in the upper rock with the money he so gladly spent on his live dream Jaguar car.


  50. Totally agree with Fred too.

    The No2 route and bus is dreadful. Moorish Castle to Referendum House does not make sense at all, it used to go to Both Worlds, now it doesn't even make it to the frontier.

    Yes, I agree, it is VERY annoying especially when PC gets driven to work and back on a journey that takes 5 minutes on foot.

    The No2 and No4 routes should be completely revised, they do not provide an adequate service. When the south district housing projects are completed there must be adequate services put in place so more people use the bus. A new No5 bus could go from Rosia Dale-Cumberland-Humphries-Trafalgar-Dockyard-Queensway-Westside-Laguna-Frontier.

    No buses whatsover cover the Queensway stretch from Rooke to Picadilly, that cuts out one of Gibraltar's biggest thoroughfares plus the Europa Business Centre and lower new harbours.

    Make the bus routes better and more people will use them, and if it costs us money so be it, it is taxpayers' money very well spent.

  51. Fred says:

    Eso, eso! El Numero 2 de Pedro iba desde el Calpe hasta el mar de levante. Y tambien valia pa que las abuelas bajaran al pueblo.

  52. Is There Really Such a Thing as a Free Bus Ride?
    Comments circulating say that LWRV does allow any further comments on this site? why do you know?