Transport Malta welcomes the introduction of the tallinja app.
Malta Public Transport launched the tallinja app today. The mobile app is another important step in getting the right information at the right time to bus users. Information provided by the app will help commuters plan their journey better. Transport Malta appreciates that Malta Public Transport is addressing the issues faced by bus commuters.
Transport Malta strongly encourages similar initiatives and further improvement of public transport. The authority will keep monitoring the service, listen to commuters’ criticism and suggest developments.
Transport Malta welcomes the marked increase in public transport patronage. The authority welcomes the improvement in service offered, increased reliability and better access for information to clients. Commuters are reaping the benefits of an improved route network.
Transport Malta encourages Malta Public transport to remain focused on further improving the service, continue investing in new technology and plan ahead for the demanding summer months. The summer season traditionally welcomes numerous visitors and hence a bigger number of bus passengers. Transport Malta augurs that the experience gained last summer, the strengthened bus fleet and other improvements will help provide a better experience for all bus users.
Transport Malta will remain vigilant and insist on an improved quality service.
Improvements on new routes
Earlier on, the Gozitan University Group complained that route X1 has been lengthened to go through Mellieħa. GUG correctly stated that Mater Dei and University have been reintroduced in the same route. The GUG’s statement however failed to mention that, as stated in a press release on Friday, Route X1 of 06:45 will no longer go trough Mellieħa, following suggestions of the same students.
The changes announced last Friday and which will be implemented in the coming weeks:
- Very few passengers boarded at St. Luke’s hospital on Mater Dei routes. The routes were thus unnecessarily lengthened. The buses will no longer stop at St. Luke’s hospital. Mater Dei Routes will be around 15 minutes faster. Instead Route 122 between Valletta and St. Luke’s hospital will have its frequency increased.
- Route X1 of 06:45 will no longer go through Mellieħa centre to reduce the time it takes to reach Mater Dei hospital and University from Ċirkewwa.
- Transport Malta and the Mater Dei administration identified a different location for parked buses at the University interchange. The current congestion that results in particular times will thus be reduced.
- Mater Dei routes, route X1 and X2 will serve Mater Dei hospital and University. Passengers will no longer need to change buses at the University interchange.
Constructive meeting on Public Transport with Local Councils
The minister for Transport and Infrastructure together with Transport Malta’s Chairman, called for a meeting with all mayors to discuss public transport. Most Local Councils were present and a constructive discussion ensued.
A representative of the operator and officials from Transport Malta were present for the meeting. Most complaints received revolved around the punctuality of the service rather than the routes themselves. The operator will be looking into the matter and taking steps to resolve the issues.
A number of changes in Mater Dei will be implemented in the upcoming weeks.
Very few passengers boarded at St. Luke’s hospital on Mater Dei routes. The routes were thus unnecessarily lengthened. The buses will no longer stop at St. Luke’s hospital. Mater Dei Routes will be around 15 minutes faster. Instead Route 122 between Valletta and St. Luke’s hospital will have its frequency increased.
Route X1 of 06:45 will no longer go through Mellieħa centre to reduce the time it takes to reach Mater Dei hospital and University from Ċirkewwa. This follows suggestions by Gozitan students.
Transport Malta and the Mater Dei administration identified a different location for parked buses at the University interchange. The current congestion that results in particular times will thus be reduced.
Mater Dei routes, route X1 and X2 will serve Mater Dei hospital and University. Passengers will no longer need to change buses at the University interchange.
Transport Malta Monitoring Implementation of New Routes
Route Network increased by 2,800 trips every week and by 2.5 million kilometres every year.
Transport Malta (TM) is currently monitoring the implementation of the new routes introduced on 22nd December.
During 2015, Transport Malta introduced 24 new routes, changed 43 routes and added 80 new bus stops. Every locality now has a direct service to Valletta and Mater Dei Hospital. 142 new buses, equipped with environmental friendly Euro 6 engines, have joined the service. The buses will now do 36,600 trips every week, an increase of over 2,800 trips. They will cover 2.5 million kilometres more each year.
Whilst still premature to make an objective assessment of the changes implemented, feedback received so far indicates that many commuters are being served better. Negative complaints received are localised to certain areas or localities and TM acknowledges the fact that some routes, such as X1, necessitate some tweaking including adjustment in frequencies. TM is committed to look into such concerns and shall be addressing issues raised by the public and local councils. The Authority will fine tune and adjust routes to ensure that the public is served better and confident to use public transport.
The new routes designed following an extensive consultation period during which more than 3,500 proposals were considered. Now that the service is operating with normal schedules, commuters are still adjusting their travel patters to new routes. As expected, this takes more than one week.
Until 3rd January, as customary during the festive season, the service was operating on Saturday schedule and thus somewhat reduced service.
Whilst sympathising with all those effected from the public transport strike today, Transport Malta is still doing its utmost so that the dispute between the General Workers Union and the Malta Public Transport is resolved as soon as possible.
In fact, yesterday evening, Transport Malta tried to organise a meeting with both the operator and the union so that their dispute did not lead to a strike. Unfortunately, such a meeting did not happen. Earlier today, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Joe Mizzi, together with Transport Malta chairman, James Piscopo, met the GWU and Malta Public Transport separately with each entity explaining their position.
Transport Malta urges both parties to resolve their differences as soon as possible so that the public transport service resumes as scheduled.
Public transport is a crucial service for all countries. Transport Malta will continue with its efforts to push both parties towards a speedy solution so that disruptions caused are minimised for the benefit of all.
Following a request by the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Transport Malta in conjunction with Kummisjoni Nazzjonali Persuni B\’Diżabilta\’ (KNPD) organised a trial of different types of motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters at the Sonia Tanti Independent Living Centre in Hal Far to see whether these wheelchairs and scooters can manoeuvre safely on and around the buses. This followed a misunderstanding that occurred last week when a person using a small mobility scooter was not allowed to board a bus.
Two low floor buses were provided by Malta Public Transport including a 9m King Long bus which has been in service for the last four years, and one of the 10 newly arrived Mercedes Citaro 12m buses which were put into service last week. It is to be noted that there are different types of motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Typically, motorised wheelchairs which are similar to regular wheelchairs, can easily manoeuvre on and around these buses particularly because they can turn around their own axis. This was in fact confirmed in today’s trial by an experienced user.
On the other hand, mobility scooters which are typically longer than motorised wheelchairs, and with a longer wheelbase, are not able to manoeuvre safely around the bus and therefore cannot be used on board buses. There are however some smaller mobility scooters including some with three wheels, which can actually manoeuvre safely, and in fact, according to their users, have been used on board buses for quite some time in Malta. Transport and KNPD announced that a set of guidelines will be prepared to distinguish between those mobility scooters that are suitable and safe to be used on the bus, and others that unfortunately cannot be used on the bus due to their size limitations and lack of manoeuvrability.
The aim is to continue to allow users of wheelchairs and scooters that have always been allowed to be used on the bus. Specialised identification stickers will be made available by Transport Malta to be put on these scooters so that they are easily identifiable by bus drivers to avoid any future misunderstandings and safety hazards for their users and other passengers. Transport Malta is committed to promote accessibility and mobility, and will be working very closely with KNPD to provide all the information necessary to users of motorised wheelchair and mobility scooters, and to the bus drivers.
Triq San Edwardu – Qormi
Transport Malta notifies that due to construction works, part of Triq San Edwardu in Qormi (between Triq Antonio Fenech and Triq Zinzel) will be closed to traffic on Sunday 25th January 2015 between 07:00hrs and 19:00hrs.
Vehicular traffic coming from Triq Mdina will be diverted onto Triq il-Ġdida. Vehicular traffic coming from Triq il-Vitorja will be diverted onto Triq Zinzell.
Route Buses 61 and 209 coming from Marsa Park and Ride towards Żebbug will proceed towards the roundabout of Tal-Imgħallaq onto Triq Mdina and follow the normal route to Żebbug.
Triq it-Torri – Sliema
Transport Malta notifies that due to construction works, part of Triq it-Torri in Sliema (between The Strand and Triq Bisazza) will be closed to traffic on Sunday 25th January 2015 between 09:00hrs and 15:00hrs. Vehicular traffic including public transport will be diverted through Tigne’ Tunnels towards Qui Si Sana.
Motorists are advised to proceed with caution.
Any inconvenience is regretted.
The Spanish Firm Autobuses de Leon took over public transport service in Malta officially. The name Malta Public Transport, will however remain in use.
In the coming months, as the new buses are delivered, new routes will be introduced. The public transport will cover 3 million kilometers more each year. The routes are planned according to what people asked for, following widespread consultation through local councils, last year.
A total of 142 new buses will be introduced and until they are delivered, Autobuses de Leon will be hiring another 40. The firm will employ drivers and new employees by the end of the year.