The transport service of the Bratislava Region via Arriva connections is currently at the level of 65 percent. “This is a four percent improvement since November 15. I have asked for a more significant improvement for the population,” Droba declared. He noted that he asked the carrier to start negotiations with potential subcontractors to cover a certain percentage of connection outages. “Negotiations have been going on since last week and are intense,” said the head of BSK.
He also confirmed that Arriva is also negotiating with Slovak Lines, which operated suburban transport in the Bratislava region until mid-November. Should Arriva agree with a subcontractor, Droba estimates that the situation will be resolved immediately. “90 percent or more of the connections would run,” he noted.
It would take too long to recruit new drivers
However, if the carrier continued to recruit new drivers at the same time, it would take several weeks, according to the regional president. He therefore does not consider it a way. The game also includes the termination of a ten-year contract, which BSK signed with Arriva for more than 330 million euros. “We evaluated it. But it has serious consequences. We would have to announce a new competition.” Droba said, adding that it would cause a regional bus service in the region to fail for at least six weeks to two months. “This is an unpopular scenario,” he admitted.
The President believes in the agreement
He therefore believes that Arriva will agree with another carrier on subcontracting and the problem will be resolved in a short time. At the same time, he confirmed that she will not be penalized for the problems caused and that she is already moving in the hundreds of thousands of euros. “They will increase every day until the 90% traffic service is reached,” declared the chairman of BSK.
He declares that BSK found himself in this situation as a “firefighter” and must fight out a problem that he did not cause. “We are the customer, not the carrier,” Droba said. He expects that other self-governing regions in Slovakia may experience similar problems.
Source: Topky / Maarty
Arriva has had a problem with a shortage of drivers since mid-November, when it started operating suburban transport in the Bratislava region. It lacked about 100 of them. This is reflected in the failure of several connections. The BSK management gave Arrive time until November 26 to solve the problem appreciably. In recent days, the carrier has repeatedly declared its efforts to resolve the problem, claiming that the situation is gradually improving.
Arriva: We are committed to solving the problem
Arriva has committed itself to solving the problem of lack of drivers in the Bratislava region. The situation is gradually improving, we are still getting new drivers. This was stated by Petra Helecz, Director of Sales and Communications of Arriva in Slovakia. She also reacted to Tuesday’s press conference of the chairman of the Bratislava self-governing region (BSK) Juraj Droba, who presented three scenarios of a possible solution to the problem in regional bus transport.
“In the last week and a half, another 55 drivers have joined us. Half of them are already carrying passengers, the other half will start on Wednesday (December 1). We offer work to other drivers.” Helecz said. The carrier offers everyone who signs the contract and starts transporting passengers by 15 December a recruitment bonus of EUR 3,500 together with the first payment.
Arriva declares that it has also contracted minibuses that have been carrying passengers since last week to solve the problem in the Bratislava region. At the same time, the carrier confirmed the continuation of negotiations with other carriers, who declare that they know how to secure drivers. “Once we reach an agreement, these drivers will be deployed exclusively on those connections that are not currently running.” Helecz said. Based on the requirements of passengers, the carrier continues with Bratislava Integrated Transport in consultations on timetable modifications. The new timetables will apply throughout Slovakia from 12 December.
Source: TASR – Pavol Zachar
Whether Arriva is currently negotiating with the former regional bus carrier in the Bratislava region, Slovak Lines, the carrier did not respond. However, the debate between the two companies was confirmed by BSK chairman Juraj Droba. The head of Arriva in Slovakia, László Ivan, replied a few days ago to an offer of help from Slovak Lines, saying that they were ready to communicate and listen to the seriousness of this offer.
Slovak Lines has confirmed that it has been in intensive negotiations with Arriva for several days. “We believe that we will soon be able to inform all the inhabitants of the Bratislava region about the outcome of the negotiations. However, we cannot comment on any details before the end of the negotiations.” said Slovak Lines spokesman Stefan Bako. According to him, the goal is for transport in the Bratislava region to return to reliable and functional operation as soon as possible.
At the same time, Bako confirmed that Slovak Lines does not currently employ or have any free drivers. “However, after concluding the agreement, we are ready to address all former employees who have decided not to accept the new carrier’s job offers. We cannot predict how successful we will be, but we know that there is a real chance of reversing the negative situation.” noted, however, that their opportunities were declining every day.
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