It is a custom in Maltese society that once someone turns 18, then that person gets their driving licence. All young people, including many environmentalists mind you, are forced to use a car. The bus system is so terribly inefficient and slow and unreliable and….
Well you get the point. We’ve all uttered those words at some point, and probably more than once.
The thing is I don’t feel as though a bus system can ever work in Malta on its own. Buses are prone to traffic, and stopping constantly due to traffic lights, stop signs etc.
A different system making use of either trams, metro or a monorail must be introduced as a solution to this traffic crisis. Such systems are fast and reliable.
Many forget that our first form of public transportation was the tram. However the government at the time opted to change to a system of buses in order to not have to extend the rail network. It turned out to be a short sighted decision which doomed us to years of unreliable and slow buses.
I’ve recently had the chance to visit two different cities with different cultures and therefore different forms of transportation.
The first city I visited was Rome. Rome is a Mediterranean city and also a very large city. It is vibrant and very busy, and some might even say it is a bit chaotic. (It’s very rich culturally and the people are awesome, but that has nothing to do with the article). Rome has a bus system and a very poor metro system with only 2 lines. However, even though the metro is relatively poor, it is still very fast and reliable. This means that everyone ends up using it.
The second city is Amsterdam. This city is fun but also a very organised city, with a good bus, metro and tram system. Typically even with a reliable and fast bus system with little traffic it still took me three times more to cover the same distance compared to metro and tram.
A different form of transportation is a must. We need another faster and more reliable option.
If a new system is to take form, then appropriate studies and a proper impact assessment should be carried out. Funding must also be found. This will take time for sure, and that’s ok. But we need to do something, as the current system is no longer feasible.
Marc’ Andrea Cassar – ADŻ Green Youth Chairperson