The Malta Independent 26 November 2022, Saturday
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Watch: 33 new buses arrive in Malta, to hit the road in the coming weeks

Mathias Mallia Saturday, 18 June 2016, 11:28 Last update: about 7 years ago

Malta Public Transport’s 33 new, custom-made buses arrived yesterday morning from the Otokar factory in Turkey. The final checks and instalments are underway to make sure they buses are ready to run smoothly on the busiest routes in the coming weeks.

The new buses are 12-metres long to allow maximum capacity, in comparison to other nine-metre buses which MPT is currently using. A new feature of having the entire bus on one level, rather than with a step in the middle, will ensure better passenger flow and more standing capacity.

Another new feature of the new buses is that there are strategically-positioned red seats that indicate priority seating. A full information campaign and possibly installing the colour-coded seats on older buses will follow in the near future, a MPT spokesperson told this newsroom.

The buses will be used for the busier routes such as Sliema-Cirkewwa, and the St Julian’s routes and Bugibba routes. Essentially the more touristic routes which require a higher capacity will now have the needed extra space.

The MPT spokesperson explained to The Malta Independent that new technology, such as diagnostics software on the buses, will allow the driver to know of faults in real time. The new buses will also have added security cameras, as well as Euro6 technology ensuring that the buses work as economically as possible.

There is also a new function where, if a bus stop is skipped due to the bus being full, the driver can instantly let the control room know of the situation from the bus itself and new buses will be dispatched from the closest terminus along the route to address commuter congestion at the bus stop in question.

The spokesperson elaborated on the added frequencies saying that, at times they have already gone over and above the contract stipulations with the government. This being said, the MPT has been collecting data for just under a year to analyse passenger travel patterns and can now better advise the government on route creation and bus frequency.

The custom design of the new buses also allowed MPT to tackle an issue regarding ventilation. In the past, the placement of vents allowing warm air to leave the engine was causing the problem of hot air circulation going back into the engine. New placement of vents ensures that this issue is minimized, if not done away with entirely.

The total cost for the 33 new buses is over €6 million and what remains to be done is the installation of ticket machines, electronic displays and all the adequate signage. A number of checks are being made by both Maltese and Turkish workers to ensure that the buses can be put in rotation as soon as possible.

Photos Jonathan Borg

Photos and video: Jonathan Borg

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