The Malta Independent 22 September 2020, Tuesday

San Ġwann buses decrease by five per hour, lower frequencies at Ta' Xbiex, Gharghur

Helena Grech Wednesday, 10 February 2016, 08:30 Last update: about 6 years ago

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi yesterday morning denied that bus frequencies have decreased, however a look at Parliamentary Questions from January reveal that this is the case for Tax-Xbiex, Għargħur and San Ġwann.

PQs put forward by Nationalist MP Marthese Portelli regarding the change in frequencies of public buses in Swieqi, Tax-Xbiex, Għargħur, San Ġwann and Msida has shed light on the conflicting information.

The response provided by Minister Mizzi also show that in the case where bus frequencies change throughout the day, the higher frequency was marked down.

For instance, in the case of bus number 22, it was marked that three pass per hour, but in reality from 9.30am onwards only two pass per hour.

San Ġwann has been hit the worst, with frequencies being reduced from 14 buses per hour, to nine buses.

Tax-Xbiex saw a decrease in bus frequency of two buses per hour, from 17 buses per hour to 15.

Għargħur also saw a decrease of two, with seven per hour under the old system and five under the new.

Swieqi and Msida both saw an increase in frequencies of two more buses per hour.

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi has denied claims that public bus frequencies have decreased, insisting that complaints have been localised to specific areas.

In a press conference yesterday morning, Minister Mizzi also added that there will be further changes to the existing bus routes in the coming weeks.

The press conference was held to launch the Malta Maritime Summit, which is to be held in October.

In recent weeks, many students and people needing to visit Mater Dei Hospital have taken to social media to complain about the current situation. Minister Mizzi acknowledged that the service still has some issues. He said that Transport Malta is still trying to handle most of the complaints.

“We have noted each complaint and will try to improve where it is possible for us to improve,” he said.

He did not provide concrete dates as to when the changes will be rolled out, but said that specific details will be provided at a later stage. He added that improvements and alterations will continue to be made until the overall standard is raised.

Minister Mizzi also added that “with the exact route system in place today Arriva would have demanded a higher subsidy than what Alesa is getting.”

In reply, the government said that the PN’s intentions are to hinder the government’s reform. Today, more people are using public transport thanks to the initiatives taken by the government. Twenty-four new routes were introduced and buses were travelling 2.5 million kilometres more.

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