Old buses, drivers to return
Advert

Old buses, drivers to return

The old buses garaged at the former Marsa Shipbuilding premises. Photo: Jason Borg

The old buses garaged at the former Marsa Shipbuilding premises. Photo: Jason Borg

The Government is planning to remove the much-maligned modern buses from Malta’s roads and bring back the old buses in a drive to boost usage, The Times has learnt.

The surprise decision will see the return of some 150 of the old yellow buses, together with many of the former drivers, according to a draft report expected to be unveiled in the coming days.

A further 160 buses have already been scrapped.

Several of the old buses had been salvaged by Heritage Malta, and can still be utilised, despite the fact they were renowned as heavy polluters.

A transport official, who preferred to remain unnamed, said the Government’s plan was two-fold: to eliminate the new routes which have been widely criticised since they were introduced in July 2011, and to provide the return of a tourist attraction on the roads. The oldest bus on the road could date back to 1949.

The Government is reportedly in contact with Chinese antique transport company Zin Jowk to fit the old buses with engines, although ministry sources did not rule out issuing an expression of interest should the deal fall through.

The report also says the drivers’ uniform will be eliminated and replaced with more “breathable and climate-friendly casual clothing”, including shorts in summer, since the old vehicles are not air-conditioned. Drivers will also be permitted once again to adorn buses with messages like ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and ‘Kiss me quick’.

One of the former drivers said: “This is what we have wanted from day one. The Maltese prefer us to foreigners who don’t know the language and our culture. We have finally got our way.”

Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus  
Advert
Advert