Recently the media reported an incident of some elderly people who protested in front of Castille due to changes in the bus timetable. Many people are arguing that these changes have even worsened the transport system.
Let’s face it, public transport was never the best in Malta. However, I ask myself can we afford to stay where we are? Wouldn’t it be better to start taking these problems seriously? We’ve seen politicians talking about improving the bus system, however nothing changed, or, in some cases things are even worse now than before.
Incidents such as those reported by the elderly, namely long waiting times, long walking distances, and in some cases also early end of service times are unacceptable. These people, just like students and anyone who does not drive rely on the bus.
Currently we are facing a national problem which is not tackled by anyone, that of traffic. More young people are doing their driving license as soon as they turn 18 and almost immediately afterwards they get their own car. This is leading to more traffic. More traffic means more congestions, delays and possibly also more accidents. Therefore buses will constantly be late due to traffic congestions. It is a continuous cycle; traffic leading to buses being late, which in turns leads to a worse public transport, leading to more people buying a car, leading to more traffic and so on.
Therefore it is of utmost importance that public transport improves. We cannot deal with the large amount of cars on our island. Pollution is constantly increasing causing more illness such as cancer, asthma and respiratory diseases and causing us taxpayers to pay more for such treatments. It is socially unjust that elderly people are forced to walk long distances and that we, the general public who use such transport are offered a disastrous service.
If we want to reduce traffic as well as the related pollution and encourage people to use public transport more often, it is time to make some effort and improve the public transport.
Pascal Aloisio – ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer