The Malta Independent 26 September 2021, Sunday

TM issues RFP for public ferry service between Malta and Comino

Neil Camilleri Sunday, 2 June 2019, 09:00 Last update: about 3 years ago

Transport Malta has issued a request for proposals for the introduction of an all-year round public ferry service between Marfa, Cirkewwa and Comino.

The concession will be for 15 years and the system will feature ticket booths at the departure points and Eco-vessels, TM has told The Malta Independent on Sunday.

Up to now, several private companies operate ferry services to Comino but the service has been criticised for being unregulated and both tourists and local visitors alike often complain about the chaos they frequently encounter when returning from the picturesque island. An issue that frequently crops up, apart from the gross overcrowding on Comino, is the lack of adequate berthing facilities there.


A spokesman for Transport Malta said the public-run service will not replace the existing private ferry services but will complement them. The new service will, however, be given priority. For example, no other vessels will be allowed to berth at the same time as the scheduled service. It is also envisaged that the existing berthing facilities will be upgraded.

“For a long time, the need has been felt for a regular, reliable quality service, on a regulated tariff system, between the Island of Comino and Malta. Hence, Transport Malta issued a Request for Proposal for the concession of passenger ferry services between Ċirkewwa/Marfa and Comino from designated berthing facilities.  The successful bidder will be required to pay an annual fee for the period of the concession, 15 years, and a percentage of the turnover,” said the TM spokesman.

Transport Malta will be providing ticket booths at the berthing facilities while the concessionaire will invest and maintain newly built ECO vessels and a modern ticketing system. 

The concessionaire will be required to provide a regular, quality service, using its own vessels, between Ċirkewwa and Marfa in Malta and Santa Marija Bay and the Blue Lagoon in Comino. The service will operate at a minimum between 7am and 6pm in the winter and between sunrise and sunset in the summer.  

Transport Malta will accept proposals through the e-Tenders platform until 28 June. An Evaluation Committee will then consider the bids. 

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