The maritime lines that connect Melilla with the peninsula are a vital need for the transport of people and goods and must be declared an essential public service; they must be protected and guaranteed, with strategic priority over any other consideration. The people of Melilla are aware of this, that is why the operation of the maritime lines is a matter of unanimous citizen interest.
The shipping lines have to ensure that ships arrive every morning with all kinds of merchandise to supply the city. The market itself defined in the past decades the system that best suits the needs of Melilla: a minimum of two ships that connect us with at least two ports on the Peninsula, so that one line is nocturnal in the direction of Melilla Peninsula and the other is in the direction of the Melilla Peninsula. In addition, maritime lines must serve to promote tourism in our City.
These vital communications must have double protection:
The declaration of lines of public interest, protected by a contract that guarantees quality provision at the service of Melilla.
A bonus system for resident travelers, which benefits Melilla residents and also shipping companies, because it increases the number of travelers. Remember that the shipping company always charges 100% of the ticket, even if it is discounted.
The quality of the service will depend on how both resources are used (contract and bonuses).
In the past, several major mistakes were made:
The first and most serious, allowing a part of Operation Paso del Estrecho to be channeled through the port of Melilla. This only benefited the concessionaire of the Maritime station and some other port operator. Not at all to the City or the State, which paid police, medical assistance, social services, endured traffic jams and crowds. Nor did it benefit the shipping companies, since they earned the same by going directly from the Peninsula to Moroccan ports such as Beni Enzar. The OPE was translated for the people of Melilla with a shortage (despite paying the contract!) Of passages because the boats were crowded. Let us remember that there were summers in which even the supply of merchandise in Melilla suffered.
Ships were getting bigger and bigger, the governments of Imbroda boasted of it, with which, as the occupations in the months that there was no PEO did not reach an average of 30%, the shipping companies recorded their business in the PEO and not in the service of Melilla. Thus, with the border closed and without a contract, the ships withdraw. Thank you, Mr. Imbroda.
The young age of the boats was more important than the comfort of the same. Every year, all boats go through a very rigorous inspection system: a 20-year-old boat can be much more comfortable than a 10-year-old boat. But so-called "youth" prevailed over quality. Thanks again, Mr. Imbroda.
There was no reservation of places for the people of Melilla, who therefore had difficulty finding a place on ships full of foreigners that circulated through Melilla benefiting from the contract paid by Spanish taxpayers. And, let's remember: a lot of spending and zero revenue for the City. Thanks again.
By orienting the business towards quantity and not quality, services were not provided on board, nor was passenger care taken care of.
We ask that for the future the service be guaranteed through a contract aimed at the person who pays it, the taxpayer of Melilla. This contract must include at least:
Daily connections with, at least, Malaga and Almería and, with the appropriate frequency, with Motril.
Reinforcements on critical dates (Christmas, New Years, Easter, bridges, beginning and end of summer, …) with ships, where appropriate, fast.
Make these lines compatible with tourist packages. For which the ship, which becomes the antechamber of the City, has to offer an impeccable service and image.
Be very present in the drafting of the contract – expressly or implicitly – the freight transport service, which is essential for Melilla.
Not admit under any circumstances the transit through our City of Operation Paso del Strait OPE.
Give priority to the comfort of ships: cleanliness in general; periodic cleaning during the crossing of the common toilets; fast and inexpensive restaurant and cafeteria services open throughout the voyage; recreation areas for children; walkways; areas to walk with pets; utility services such as a hairdresser during the day, a permanently open supermarket, ATMs, etc .; special area in the cellar for cars to be washed during the journey; permanent and visible service of security guards; The Reception open and attended throughout the journey. And many more services that must be specified when preparing the contract.
Single document ticket sales systems that make it unnecessary to transform the purchased ticket into a boarding pass.
Agree on a quick disembarkation at the port of arrival on the Peninsula. It is exasperating to arrive in Malaga and stand in a queue for at least twenty minutes to show the identity document that was already shown when boarding. It is absurd that all the luggage of the pedestrians goes through a scanner when that of the vehicles does not. When you arrive at the airport in the same city, this does not happen. The system must be, in any case, a sampling inspection.
In short, the passenger who pays for his ticket and who pays for the contract must receive exquisite treatment. We are not merchandise, we are people. The ship has to look more like a hotel than a bus.