Student transport issues still not resolved, says Gozo University Group
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The Gozo University Group, last November held a meeting with the Minister for Transport on what GUG described as ” the many issues Gozitan students faced with the public transport.”
In a statement it has said that, some five months later, “we are once again talking about our complaints, complaints that we fear have fallen on deaf ears.”
“Following that meeting we created a survey and circulated it among the Gozitan students, who were very quick to respond and tell us of their grievances on the state of the public transport. The results of this survey were sent to the Ministry for Transport,” said the GUG.
The Group continued by said that in their email sent in November, they also attached photographs of the current bus shelter at Cirkewwa, which they said, “is quite aesthetically pleasing but not really practical as it does not do much to shelter people from the elements.” According to the GUG, “this was the last we heard of the Ministry.”
During their research, the GUG remarked that they were told that this was not the first time that the students had complained, often sending emails to the company.
“Those who sent emails of complaint receive a confirmation of receipt email. However, most of the time this is the last they hear of the matter,” said the Group.
The GUG said that it has spoken with students and are proposing ideas which they themselves have asked for, proposals which they said they hope will help them get home quicker and easier. These are:
“X1A is a direct route from Msida to Cirkewwa which currently operates only on Fridays from and has two journeys – one at 16:10 and one at 17:05. This route is the most ideal for any Gozitan students. It’s quick and direct which is why we propose that it is more frequent and that it should operate on more than one day.
The current X1 route starts at Malta International Airport and ends at Cirkewwa. This means that commuters will be carrying luggage which is why we propose that on this route, overhead compartments be added to make more space available for people to sit rather than stand while holding their bulky luggage in place.
One of the main complaints is the Cirkewwa bus shelter, which many have argued that is anything but a shelter. If it is sunny, it will not protect you from the sun’s rays, if it is windy, sea spray will shower you and if it is rainy, you will be rained on. Our third proposal comes in the form of a plea for change. A bus shelter can be both nice to look at as well as protective.
Another complaint is that there is no coordination between the X1 timetable and that of the Gozo Channel with commuters having to wait a long time for the bus or ferry, wasting more time.
Finally, a further proposal for the X1 is that two X1 buses leave the airport at the same time to maximise the amount of people that would be taken on board. This is because since it fills up quite quickly, drivers sometimes keep going, leaving many students behind.”
The Gozo university Group concluded by saying that “every Gozitan student can tell you of at least one X1 horror story. We need to end such stories, make them tales that used to happen, stories that we laugh at and not experience every week. We hope that our complaints are heard and that we are not forgotten.”
Photograph by the Gozo University Group