Malta Public Transport investing in additional new buses
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Malta Public Transport has announced that it will be investing in additional new buses this year.
“We have transformed the Public Transport operation into a financially sustainable one. For the first time in five years, the Maltese public transport system will be operating at a break even point in 2016. This is an achievement in itself, and has encouraged us to strengthen our investment in Malta with additional new buses, once again going beyond our contractual requirement.”
Mr Felipe Cosmen, Chairman of Malta Public Transport made this announcement on the second anniversary of the operation in Malta.
Mr Cosmen thanked the team who made this possible: “I strongly believe that we have found the right mix of international and local expertise. Each person in our company had an important role to play and it was a joint effort that led to these positive results.”
He also thanked the public for their patience during these two yeas in which many changes were implemented to improve the service.
“Over the past two years we have carried over 83 million passengers, with 40 million passengers in 2015 and 43 million passengers in 2016. These figures demonstrate that the confidence in Public Transport is growing steadily, with an increase of 15% since the company took over operations in January 2015,” he said.
Malta Public Transport said that during the first two years it faced a number of challenges, such as lack of buses, drivers, and strikes. “Despite all this the company achieved a number of important milestones:”
– “95% of trips are departing within the scheduled time frames. This data is available because each and every bus in service is tracked by our Control Centre in real time.
– The customer rating for Public Transport in Malta has increased from 6.6 in 2012 to 7.3 in 2016.
– The fleet has been increased with 176 new, environmentally-friendly buses, going from 260 to 380 buses;
– The entire route network was changed in line with Government’s requirements, offering 17% more daily trips;
– Passengers now have an easy-to-use ticketing system, with over 80% using a tallinja card;
– The tallinja APP lets customers check live running times from their smartphone. Over 100,000 passengers used it.”
The company said that, “these milestones were possible with an investment of over 40 million euro. Yet the biggest investment by far was in the company’s employees. 700 new employees were recruited, effectively doubling the workforce. The new collective agreement provided better working conditions.”
“Our employees play a vital role in retaining our customers. They are our daily ambassadors and therefore we must ensure they have the right training,” continued Cosmen.
Cosmen also appealed to the public for their support to continue improving the service. “We need to work together with the community to change the behaviour on the road that affects our service. People must realise that parking on a corner, parking on a bus stop and double parking result in delays. These delays mean that people on our buses will arrive late. We need your help to make Public Transport more efficient to users and more attractive to non-bus users.”
Photograph by Alain Salvary