Today I got on the bus. Haven't been on the bus for ages because normally I walk around everywhere in Gib.
But guess what? at the last Bank Holiday weekend (end of May) it was all change on the buses in Gib.
New routes, new numbers - and - free. Yes, that's right. Free. With the exception of the bus that travels between the frontier and town, the buses in town are now free.
And for months now, we have been watching the installation of rather nice new bus stops. Just as well, one of our local ones had so many holes in the side there wasn't much point standing 'inside' in the wind or the rain.
Out with the old ...
... And in with the new
Well, it was always a busy bus route from Morrisons back home and today it hadn't changed. Totally full. Took even longer sitting around in Market Place for no obvious reason. Still, free is good.
Quick summary of new bus routes and a link below to the official poster:
New bus routes
Starts at Market Place, goes along Queensway via Reclamation Road, past Trafalgar and up the back to the Moorish Castle. Back down a similar route via Waterport.
Market Place via Line Wall to Europa Point and back via South Barracks Road and Rosia Road.
Market Place via Line Wall to South Barracks Road. This is basically half of the old number four route, it just no longer goes to the eastern side.
Does go up the east side. Europort, then Devils Tower Road, to Sir Herbert Miles, ie just before the re-opened tunnel.
Goes from the frontier, via Market Place, to Reclamation Road, and back again. This service is to PAY.
What happens if you go to Morrisons? Virtually every bus service stops there - only one that doesn't is number 2.
The price used to be cheap, 60p single, so being free doesn't make that much difference if you don't use it much. The new single price on the number 5 frontier Market Place service has shot up to £1.
So why do we have free bus services? Well because it encourages people to use public transport and not their cars in a small congested area? How about because we have a general election this year? Free bus services were mentioned in the manifesto four years ago by the GDP. It's taken until now to implement them. That's probably because the GDP thinks people wouldn't remember freebies if they were implemented earlier. They are probably right.
The general election is probably also why we have all these lovely new health parks and kiddy playgrounds and .. and .. and .. the sudden flurry of activity at Europa Point with the new beautification project ie tourist attractions. There maybe more that I haven't notice.
Or am I just being cynical?
Still, the free bus service was nice today when I had a bad knee and heavy shopping. Otherwise I would have walked. Bad knee, heavy shopping and all. Hardly contributing to less car use in Gib am I? I never use a car in Gib anyway.
And, if the idea is to reduce vehicle use in Gib, and ease parking - why charge on the frontier route? Because won't that encourage people to continue driving into Gib? And continuing to clog up the car parks? Until the free parking changes? And it ain't free any more and charges are introduced?
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