The Malta Independent 25 September 2022, Sunday
View E-Paper

Traffic and tourists

Sunday, 31 July 2022, 07:37 Last update: about 3 months ago

I and my wife have just returned to Italy after a week-long amazing vacation in Malta. We read your article (Traffic and tourists, The Malta Independent editorial, 27 July) at the airport and we have to say that, unfortunately, it resonates a lot with our experience whilst we were leaving the country.

ADVERTISEMENT

Upon our arrival in Malta, we took the bus route X4 right in front of the airport to reach Valletta, since our hotel was in that part of the city. Very convenient and quite handy, we might say. Thus, on our departure (27 July) to reach the airport we planned to take the same bus route, X4. However, we hardly knew that our problems were about to start.

We wanted to take the 8:25 bus from the bus terminal in Valletta but it did not show up. We waited for the next one that should have come 20 min later but it also did not show up. My wife then went to ask someone and was told that within 17 min a bus would come. One eventually arrived with more than 45 min in delay. All this in the scorching heat.

At this point, the bus stop was completely packed because the previous two buses had never come. On top of that, surprisingly enough for a route that serves the airport, the bus had no dedicated places for luggage and we were squeezed in the middle of four seats while the bus got fuller and fuller along the way with an increasing number of passengers.

As soon as we arrived in Malta, we downloaded the official app for Malta public transport. The app indicates that the bus route X4 stops just in front of the airport but, in fact, it does not. The driver stopped something like 500-600 m from the airport. We had to get off the bus practically in the middle of the road and walk this distance under the sun with our luggage to reach the airport.

It is absolutely incredible that Malta public transport treats tourists like this. We did not expect this at all and were deeply disappointed. As you mention in your article, unfortunately, we have brought this unpleasant experience back with us after an amazing week in the country that we have learned to appreciate very much.

It does not take that much to make the visitors’ experience a pleasant one. It is unthinkable that the only bus route from Valletta actually does not leave the passengers in front of the airport and it is incapable of following its own schedule. The driver never said a word to us (although we asked before boarding) and we only discovered that we had to get off in the middle of the road because other passengers (most probably Maltese residents) warned us to do so. In fact, soon after we got off, we saw the bus turning and moving away from the airport. So, if we had not gotten off at that point we would have been in an even worse situation since God knows where the next stop would be. By the way, we were not the only travellers on the bus. Many other people got off at the same stop as us and walked all the way to the airport.

Anyway, sorry for the long account but we would like to share our bad experience which resonates very well with the account of your article.

 

Dr Luiz Valério P. Trindade

Italy

  • don't miss