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Consultation launched on improving public transport

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi has pledged to listen to the concerns and recommendations of public transport users. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi has pledged to listen to the concerns and recommendations of public transport users. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Frustration about the public transport system and recommendations on how to improve the service can be made to Transport Malta over the next four weeks.

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi said improving the system was a priority for the new Labour Government.

In order to live up to its electoral promise, and improve the system, the public was being asked to give its feedback and recommendations, he said.

“Our ultimate aim is to finally have a decent public transport system,” Mr Mizzi said during a press conference at Transport Malta’s Sa Maison offices.

He pointed out that over recent years he had heard many complaints about the system.

Once the public’s feedback was collected, he said, he would consult with local councils as well as those who worked in the field of public transport.

Asked when he planned to complete this “reform”, he said it was too early to give a target date. However, he added, a deadline would eventually be given and respected.

Public transport operator Arriva, which started operating in Malta in July 2011 amid promises of a revolution in public transport, has been plagued by complaints ever since.

Problems ranged from delays, broken ticketing machines and impractical routes.

He said a task force had been set up and the Government rearranged routes which were cause for complaints for a time. However, problems lingered with the punctuality of the service.

Throughout the election campaign Labour said it would draw up a comprehensive plan to improve the public transport system, which was described as one of the former government’s biggest “fiascos”, Mr Mizzi said.

At the time, an Arriva spokesman said: “Arriva has a contract with Transport Malta. Any discussions concerning the ongoing improvement of the public transport service, in the interest of commuters and the community, are always held between Arriva and Transport Malta.”

The public can give feedback by calling Transport Malta’s call centre on freephone numbers 8007 23096 or 8007 2393 between 8am and 4.30pm. Alternatively they can send an e-mail to [email protected].

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