Thursday, 9th August 2012
Frontier bus now free for local pensioners
by Eyleen Sheil
The Route 5 bus route is now free to old age pensioners residing in Gibraltar upon presentation of their Gibraltar ID or Social Services Card.
Minister for Public Transport Neil Costa reminded Gibraltar of the GSLP’s manifesto commitments in his budget speech last month when he said: “I can announce that negotiations have been successfully concluded with the other company that operates route 5, (the frontier route), to introduce free bus travel for pensioners on this route.”
By enabling this private operator to exclusively service Route No.5, the GBCL has been able to redeploy the buses used in that route to other routes, with the aim of improving the service. In his budget speech the Minister said that those improvements will see an additional bus used on Route 2, increasing the passenger carrying capacity of this route.
Minister Samantha Sacremento whose responsibilities include elderly care, welcomed the news from her fellow Minister, and said she was delighted with the news. Although Ms Sacremento is not directly responsible for the elderly her portfolio includes the services provided to the elderly community.
The move to give pensioners free travel on Route 5 comes shortly after the Government also extended the Route 7 bus route from Mt Alvernia to cover the whole of Line Wall Road up to Fish Market Steps, returning to Mt Alvernia via Line Wall Road.
The introduction of free passage on Route 5 to Gibraltar’s pensioners also comes shortly after debates in the UK started by Conservative MP Nick Boles, regarding means testing free bus passes for the elderly.
Calypso Transport Limited agreement to carry all pensioners that are resident in Gibraltar free of charge commenced on August 1.