Bilbao recovers the tourist bus with eleven stops and connection to the rack rail train
Bilbao City Tour is launched next Friday with two units in summer
The Biscayne capital recovers the tourist bus service next Friday 15th June. This new offering, addressed to visitors who want to discover the town on wheels is named Bilbao City Tour and its presentation took place yesterday. A presentation that created big expectation as more than a tourist already wanted to take the bus at the stop located next to the Guggenheim Museum and had to be told that the service was not operating yet.
The service will be offered by two double-decker buses –with sliding roof in order to cover the upper deck in case of rain-, with a capacity of 71 passengers, and they will run the main points of interest of the town. Bilbao City Tour will operate all the days of the year, except the 24th and the 25th December, with a frequency in summer and a different one in winter. From the next 23rd June to the 9th September, bank holidays and cruise days, the service will operate from 10.30am to 5.30pm, with a frequency of an hour, because it will only run a bus.
The initiative comes from the tourism group Julià and the transport company Alsa, which already have similar services in seven countries and twenty cities. Roger Cerdan, director of the division of electric vehicles in Grupo Julià, in the presentation assured that ‘the bus is already being commercialised in fairs and through other operators and also on web sites’.
The price of the ticket is sixteen euros for adults and eight for children from 6 to 11 years and the validity is 24 hours. As it is common in similar services, Bilbao City Tour will offer the hop-on hop-off service in order to give the passenger the possibility of getting on and off the bus as many times as he wants; an interesting formula for many tourists who want to know the city from another point of view and, moreover, in a comfortable way. The tickets can be bought directly on the bus, in official points of sale and on Internet, on bilbao.city-tour.com, alsa.es and grupojulia.com.
‘Tourists in Bilbao needed this bus since a long time ago’, assured the Mobility and Sustainability councillor, Alfonso Gil. He also remarked that ‘we are the first city who offers the service in Basque, Galician and Catalan’. Gil attended the presentation with his colleague Xabier Ochandiano, Economic Development, Trade and Employment councillor. Ochandiano highlighted ‘the collaboration between both municipal areas in order to make this project a reality’ and also that ‘tourism already represents the 7% of the wealth in the city’.
The City Hall, apart from granting permits, has worked together with the promoters in relation to the location of the stops and especially in relation to the intermodality with the Artxanda rack rail train at the stop located next to the Zubizuri bridge.
During the last years, a familiar company from San Sebastian offered a similar service but supplies were limited and it finally disappeared last November because of a breakdown in the only bus they had. ‘This service is very different, here there are two big companies that ensure tourist bus in Bilbao lasts a long time’, concluded Alfonso Gil.