Workers complain of ‘illogical’ tariff system at Park & Ride
Workers who use the Blata l-Bajda park-and-ride facility only as a parking area because they work in the vicinity have complained about the “illogical” tariff system being put in place.
One worker, who works at the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, situated up the road from the park-and-ride site, said those who parked their car and got the transport to Valletta could buy a seven-day block ticket for €10. However, those who parked their car there and walked to their place of work had to fork out €3.75 a day.
Moreover, he complained, people who parked their car near the park-and-ride facility could utilise the Arriva transport to Valletta for just 50c as they were considered as additional accompanying passengers.
The worker said that when he asked about this, Arriva, which will operate the park-and-ride service, said the tariffs had been established by Transport Malta.
Asked for an explanation, Transport Malta said the park-and-ride facility was not intended “primarily” as a car park but to encourage motorists to use public transport, “at least for part of their trip”, providing access to Valletta and Floriana.
A spokesman said the capacity of the park-and-ride facility compensated for parking lost in Valletta due to various restrictions and pedestrianisation. “The pricing structure is intended to serve just this purpose and is not intended to encourage parking for surrounding offices which, in any case, are best served by public transport connections. It should be clarified that the reduced ‘additional passenger’ transport tickets are only available for passengers of cars parking within the facilities.”
Coop Services, which operated the red minivans to and from Valletta since the facility opened in November 2006, said it had carried more than five million passengers to and from the capital city. The last minivan operated the service at 12.30 p.m. yesterday as the facility is closed all day today until it is officially passed on to Arriva tomorrow.
Coop Services is now offering a similar service, the Home To Work Connect, a service that will take workers from their home to Valletta and back. More details on www.maltacoop.com.