Andalusia Education: The Board seeks alternatives to cover deserted school routes

Some contests have been deserted.

Education negotiates against the clock with different transport companies, since some 30 lines have problems finding buses

Juan Soto

JUAN SOTO Málaga

The Junta de Andalucía works against the clock to ensure that all students in the province have a bus line that takes them to their school. After verifying that some 30 routes have been deserted, the Public Education Agency has initiated a round of contacts to prevent the course from starting without this basic service for many families.

After the complaint made on Wednesday by the Provincial Association of Transport Employers and Agencies of Malaga (Apetam, the Education delegation acknowledged yesterday that “they are working to cover all school transport routes according to the administrative contracting procedures within the law of contracts ».

They warn that some 30 school transport routes have problems finding operators

As for the places that have been deserted, they assured to continue working “to seek alternatives within the contract law.” As this newspaper has learned, they would go through working in negotiated procedures with the different bus companies. In a direct negotiation with the companies, the bidding price could even be increased –which is the main obstacle for the awarding of the routes–.

The 30 lines that have problems finding interested companies are divided into seven lots and mainly affect adapted transport and routes that circulate through the interior of the province. In Apetam’s opinion, the cost of the service is higher than that offered by the regional administration, so there are no interested companies.

The president of the group, Antonio Vázquez Olmedo, explains that if it is already difficult to cover a school line due to the high costs it has, it is more difficult to do it in the specials, since the buses must be adapted and more staff must be available. The same occurs on the routes through the interior of the province, since it is not feasible to hire drivers for just two hours.

The routes that have been left deserted correspond to a bridge competition for the months of September to December 2021, since the Junta de Andalucía also has another call underway for the next four years. This double competition has been a detriment to the transport companies, which are on the verge of bankruptcy and have had to submit documentation almost in duplicate.

From Apetam they regret that in the new tenders the economic issue prevails over the operating companies, forcing them to hire staff at loose hours and promoting garbage employment. They review that neither environmental sustainability nor Covid adaptation is a priority.

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