A meeting between Alternattiva Demokratika and Malta Pubic Transport was held on Wednesday 26th September. The discussion focused on the need to use Malta’s limited space to move people in the most efficient manner possible.
Results are showing that people are travelling more, meaning that that more space needs to be allocated to efficient modes of transport in order to enable more people to move around quickly.
Malta Public Transport spoke about the efforts and successes that the company has achieved in the past few years: increased capacity through a continuous investment in new, environmentally-friendly, accessible buses, an improved and efficient service, record passenger growth, innovative technology, more drivers and a far reaching route network with more frequencies.
However the company also discussed the various challenges that it faces, particularly the fact that bus journeys are taking longer than before due to a significant increase in route diversions, illegally parked vehicles, and very limited bus-favouring policies and infrastructure. The company explained that whilst the amount of buses has increased beyond what is required in the concession contract, the new buses are being consumed by the longer journey times.
AD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo, and Secretary General and transport and infrastructure spokesperson Ralph Cassar spoke about the need for different transport options which reduces people’s dependence on private cars. Public transport has a major role in the move towards sustainable mobility and a better quality of life. “More road space should be dedicated to public transport which shifts a large number of people in less space than private cars. We would also like to see safer roads and infrastructure to increase the take up of bicycles and electric bicycles. Government should start by implementing its own Transport Masterplan”, insisted Ralph Cassar.
“Our aim should be to improve mobility. This can be done by reducing the time it takes for a bus to get from one place to another, therefore freeing up more space for other passengers to use our buses,” said Konrad Pulé, General Manager of Malta Public Transport
“We need more cooperation from all stakeholders to improve public transport in Malta. The focus needs to be on moving more people with more priorities for buses which will also benefit other modes of transport. This will attract even more people to travel by bus, which will result in less vehicles on our roads.”