Residents of the Costa del Sol are reaching their limits with the disgraceful state of public transport in the region.
With buses running approximately every two hours in the worst-served areas, residents without cars suffer from a lack of quality of life and basic needs are incredibly difficult to meet.
Based on an impromptu olive press online survey, more than half of the respondents said that public transport is a problem for them on the Costa del Sol.
Another 38% agreed that public transport was a problem, despite owning a car and not being directly affected by it.
The number one complaint is that the buses, especially south of Marbella, are unreliable.
“For someone who doesn’t have a car, living in this area is a real nightmare,” said Louisa Nunn, 62, an expat from Brighton. the olive press.
Bus times change and aren’t updated and there’s no way of knowing until it’s too late, are among a host of complaints that the olive press heard from readers.
“And there are never enough buses. Since there is no train service, there is no alternative,” continued Louisa.
“So if you want to get to Malaga or Marbella, which are the two main cities where all the big stores are, like the Cañada shopping center, you have to take a taxi.
“And not everyone who lives here is rich enough to pay for a taxi.”
Another related problem is that the buses don’t keep to the schedule, they are known to leave the station early and don’t even wait at the stops until the scheduled time.
“I was in Malaga on Tuesday and I’m glad I got to the bus station early because the bus left five minutes early,” said Louisa.
“It’s disgusting because it wasn’t just a minute before. I find it very frustrating because if I had been a bit late in traffic I would have missed it and the next one was an hour and a half.”
Retired nurse Michael Lendrum, 56, based in Estepona, who also has no vehicle, said he would rather borrow a friend’s car than rely on public transport to get around.
“A bus can arrive 30 minutes on each side of the scheduled time,” he observed.
A central complaint for all residents of the Costa del Sol is the poor accessibility to Malaga airport, even for those with cars who would rather take a bus than leave it in the airport car park.
“With the buses around here, you can’t get a flight before 11 am as the first buses won’t get you there before 8:30 am,” Michael said.
“My mother got into a taxi from the airport to Estepona and it cost her €140.”
Another quibble is that bus routes and schedules cannot be reliably tracked online in an app like Google Maps, meaning no one knows when the next bus will arrive or even where the bus stops are.
“I lived in Switzerland for a while and when public transport would arrive,” Louisa recounted, “30 seconds before, everyone would stand up if they were sitting, and then the ride or the bus would arrive.”
Having lived in several countries, he puts the Costa del Sol’s stubborn refusal to operate a usable public transport system up to cultural expectations.
“People expect it to be horrible, and it is. It’s a disaster.
But others warned against opening up the southern Costa del Sol to too easy access.
“A lot of people are worried that Estepona will become a less Spanish, less picturesque and more Marbella-like area,” said Trevor Hamilton, 71, a retired professional drummer. the olive press.
“There is also concern that it does not start to turn towards a Torremolinos type area,” he added.
“Those kinds of places are very British, very SkySports TV, fish and chips, waterfront full of shops selling rubber rings and slippers.”
“As a resident, I would love to have a train. But there are such big swells in Estepona that we clearly don’t want the city to become that.”
Do you have a horror story about public transport on the Costa del Sol? firstname.lastname@example.org