Tourists are still unaware that they too can apply for the Tallinja card, provided they book it two weeks in advance and provide a Maltese address, which could even be their hotel.

The bus operator highlighted the issue when responding to visitors’ frustration over the tourist version of the Tallinja card, Explorer. Some tourists feel that it goes against EU regulations because those who use it are charged higher rates than using the regular Tallinja card.

“I love this island, it’s beautiful and I come to Malta a good number of times every year. However, the public service is discriminatory towards tourists,” frequent visitor Alan Bates, from London, said.

The Explorer card costs €21 and is valid for seven days, which works out at €3 a day. The regular Tallinja card, for which registration requires a residential address, charges 75c per journey during the day, though the rate varies for night trips.

However, when contacted, Malta Public Transport insisted it was “not at all discriminatory” because the two cards were different products and could be purchased by both tourists and the Maltese.

Tourists can apply for the normal Tallinja card before they arrive, using their address in Malta.

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