Arriva service for Notte Bianca was 'professional' - Transport Malta
Transport Malta said today that it believed that Arriva had handled its Notte Bianca test 'professionally but not without sporadic problems especially inbound to Valletta.'
"From information at the disposal of Transport Malta, after 11 p.m. Arriva sold 33,000 pre printed tickets outbound from Valletta and its supply of tickets ran out at around 1am. Subsequently ticketing continued on buses," Transport Malta said.
"If to the 33,000 tickets sold, one adds the tickets sold on board, the persons who left Valletta before 11 p.m. and the children who travelled for free Transport Malta calculates that Arriva must have carried between 40,000 and 45,000 passengers outbound from Valletta last Saturday".
Transport Malta said that the outbound routes was operated by 77 buses and although it had noted buses that were full up, the operation was run smoothly and with few problems relative to the number of persons carried in the short time available.
Transport Malta also noted a substantial drop compared to last year in the number of cars used to get to Valletta, so that the Park and Ride facility was far from full and few cars were noticed in the approaches to Valletta not usedfor car parks.
"Transport Malta believes that a substantial number of people made the decision to use public transport rather than their private car. This is confirmed by reports received by Transport Malta from different localities that buses towards Valletta were passing full of passengers and therefore not stopping to pick up passengers. In certain cases waits lasted around an hour."
Transport Malta said the inbound leg was an exceptional strain on the system, which had to be met whilst Arriva continued to operate the rest of the network (contrary to the outbound operation).
"Nevertheless, now that for the first time, Transport Malta has statics on patronage of these extraordinary events, Transport Malta will be working with Arriva to better handle the expected demand in such occasions."