The Malta Independent 21 September 2018, Friday

Metro would consist of four lines, one linked to Gozo – Simon Busuttil

Joanna Demarco Friday, 26 May 2017, 09:29 Last update: about 2 years ago

The Light Rail Metro, costing €2.3 billion proposed by the Nationalist party in their electoral pledges, would consist of four lines, one of which will be linked to Gozo, according to Party Leader Simon Busuttil.

Addressing the press at the Msida Marina this morning, Dr Busuttil explained the transport pledges of the party to the press, throughout which he explained the creation of a metro as a mode of transport in further detail.

ADVERTISEMENT

The metro, an "alternative mode of transport", as Dr Busuttil called it, would consist of four lines. The first would run from Valletta to Msida, Sliema and St Julians and vice versa. The second would run from Valletta, to Birkirkara, Ta' Qali, Mosta, Naxxar and vice versa. The third would run from Valletta to Paola, the Airport, Fgura, Cottonera, Zabbara, Marsascala and vice versa. The fourth line would run from St.Julians to Cirkewwa, Mgarr (Gozo), Victoria (Gozo) and vice versa, the Leader of the Opposition explained.

The first line will cost €425m to construct, and will cost €10m to operate annually. The second will cost €625m to construct and €14m to operate. The third line will cost €595m to construct and €10m to operate. The fourth line will cost €700m to construct and €22m to operate annually. 

Asked by The Malta Independent how the Gozo tunnel would work in relation to the planned metro line, Dr Busuttil said that the metro is to connect Malta and Gozo using the same tunnel infrastructure.

Other media questioned Dr Busuttil as to how a Nationalist Government would pay for this €2.3 billion project, to which he replied that it would be a private-public partnership.  He also said that the party plans not to touch ODZ land when constructing the metro as they want to "protect the land which is left". However, he said that if they are at a point where there will be not be an alternative, a decision whether to go ahead or not will have to be taken by 2/3 of parliament in order to proceed.

When asked about the planned cost for metro tickets, Dr Busuttil said that the price would be similar to the price of public transport as it is today, and will depend on the proposals from the companies who express interest.

Asked by The Malta Independent how the Gozo tunnel would work in relation to the planned metro line, Dr Busuttil said that the metro is to connect Malta and Gozo using the same tunnel infrastructure.

He went on to explain that the "masterplan" will not only be a metro system but a "multi-model shift", where other means of transportation which will get metro-users "in front of their door".

Dr Busuttil said this "ambitious project" will be embarked on straight away by calling an expression for interest, and once that is concluded the process will begin. He added that it would be a "big shift in the quality of transport, which will make it worth leaving your car at home".

Other transport pledges by the party include free access to public buses by individuals who have student cards and karta anzjan, and free school transport to students including students of church schools and private schools, in the hope of decreasing traffic, the Nationalist Party Leader said.

A scheme would also exchange scrapping an old car with a €2000 voucher which the car owner can swap for purchasing another car or can exchange for money from dealers who would, themselves, use their money to purchase other cars. 

 

  • don't miss