The Malta Independent 15 October 2021, Friday

‘Free transport initiative is aimed at reducing vehicle dependency’ - Ian Borg

Tuesday, 12 October 2021, 18:26 Last update: about 3 days ago

Given the success of previous free transport initiatives aimed at specific groups in society, the new free transport measure is aimed at a new bracket of people who are vehicle dependent, Transport Minister Ian Borg said in Parliament. 

Throughout the previous years, various budgets have given 80,000 people the right to free public transport and Borg assured everyone that many more people will make use of Malta’s public transport once the service becomes free in October of next year. 

Borg quoted various local and international studies in his statement but claimed that “however enticing the new initiative is, it does not mean that everyone will drop their car in order to make use of public transport.” 

This is as much information as Borg was comfortable giving when questioned by the opposition about a possible expansion of the bus fleet to accommodate the possible increase in public transport users. 

Borg also failed to answer on how many people would be eligible for free public transport as from October next year. He said that “I consider this more of an environmental issue rather than a transport one.” 

“This initiative by the government is there to award those already using public transport while paying for it.” 

The new measure is set to be put in action as from October 2022 and through this Malta would become only the second European Union country to provide free public transport to all residents in the country.

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