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Watch: ‘Ditch your car once a week and notice the impact on traffic’

Widening lanes is not the only solution, bus operators' boss says

The bus operator general manager has set out a challenge to all drivers in Malta: ditch the use of your car just once a week and see the “huge” impact on traffic.

If everyone had to try to leave their car at home and "plan" their journey ahead by catching a bus or taxi, walking, or cycling – the impact on Malta’s perennial problem will be very noticeable, Konrad Pule tells this week’s edition of Times Talk.

As the scholastic season starts, so has the traditional nationwide traffic jam. Yet amid the frustration, Mr Pule provides some interesting trivia to explain the contribution of buses towards reducing traffic in Malta.

Malta Public Transport expects to have carried 48 million passengers by the end of this year - 12 per cent more than 2016. Sixty-five per cent of users actually have access to a car, that means 45,000 vehicles. Buses are carrying out 6,000 additional trips daily, covering an additional 25% kilometres more than they did four years ago.

And this is why buses need to be given priority, Mr Pule said. 

But, amid mounting traffic and drivers breaking every imaginable law, bus drivers are juggling to negotiate the tough road network. And this means a number of the 1,100 bus drivers have thrown in the towel. He admits drivers are sometimes struggling with punctuality but drivers are saying it is taking longer to get to their destination.

Widening lanes could be good in certain junctions but sometimes providing more car lanes could entice more people to use their car.

"Segregation is the way forward," Mr Pule said. 

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