Spanish transport provider Autobuses de Leon will be using a leased fleet of UK buses at the end of this month instead of the coaches leased from the Unscheduled Bus Service, according to Transport Malta CEO James Piscopo.

The Spanish firm will be making a “soft launch” of the Malta bus service later this week. The service already uses a number of buses leased from the UK, along with those belonging to the UBS and former Arriva vehicles, which will be retained.

Mr Piscopo said  that UBS had reached the end of its subcontracting agreement with the transport authorities and would be replaced at the end of this month.

It is not known how much the Spanish firm will pay to use the UK buses, but they will only be used until the operators’ own vehicles are delivered. Mr Piscopo said the new buses are being specifically designed for the Maltese road network and are expected to be delivered in the coming months.

Some 100 new drivers are to be trained, with as many as 300 new drivers added to the transport grid before the busy summer months, he added. This will translate into some 3,000 seats being added to the network and will bring 142 new buses to the island. 

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