PN proposes a four-line “Light Rail Metro” for Malta and Gozo
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The Nationalist Party is proposing a “Light Rail Metro” for Malta and Gozo and have pledged to immediately embark on building this alternative public transport system, delivering the first phase in its first mandate as a new government.
It said that its analysis indicates that the costs would amount to €2.3 billion, excluding the cost of the Malta-Gozo tunnel, which it estimates at a cost of €300 million. There would also be additional operational costs for the metro of €56 million per annum.
The PN said that the Metro should cater for all major urban centres and link Malta to Gozo – this would consist of four lines.
In the document released by the PN, they say that it is recognised, however, that this is a long term vision, and in order to achieve financial and environmental sustainability it should be phased in progressively so that it can cater for the highest expected demands in the near future. The PN identified the following lines.
Line 1: Valletta – Msida – Sliema – St Julian’s
Line 2: Valletta – Birkirkara – Ta’ Qali – Mosta – Naxxar
Line 3: Valletta – Paola – Airport – Fgura – Cottonera – Zabbar – Marsascala, and;
Line 4: St Julian’s – Cirkewwa – Mgarr (Gozo) – Victoria (Gozo).
The PN explained that this final phase is probably the most ambitious. It would not only connect the populations of the North of the island to the central business districts, but would physically connect the territories of the islands of Malta and Gozo for the first time.
The route is 38km long and includes the 12km tunnel between Malta and Gozo as currently proposed, it would also need to use the same tunnel infrastructure, the PN said.
It further explained that although this is the most difficult of routes to design and cost, “the plans for extending the national infrastructure to Gozo has a social and economic dimension that cannot be ignored.”
Studies will determine the optimal solution for connecting Gozo to this network and to the significant opportunities related to greater connectivity and accessibility for the two islands, the PN said.
A preliminary costing of the project has been undertaken, however the PN said that “it is evident that more studies are required to fulfil all obligations related to planning permission including environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment, cost-benefit analysis and detailed designs and phasing.
The Nationalist Party said that based on these service characteristics an estimate of the cost was established as below: