PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR TRANSPORT, INFRASTRUCTURE AND CAPITAL PROJECTS: Pilot project ‘Travel Made Easy’ – Free Wi-Fi on 50 buses

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg launched a pilot project which is the result of collaboration between Transport Malta and Malta Public Transport. This project will be implementing free Wi-Fi on 50 buses, including those serving routes towards Mater Dei Hospital and the University of Malta, those serving popular routes around Malta, as is the internal Valletta route, as well as two vehicles in Gozo. The service will be available on both larger 12-metre vehicles and smaller 9-metre vehicles.

Minister Borg reminded those present that his ministry is currently carrying out work on several levels in an effort to overcome the challenge of congestion by means of push and pull mechanisms, several different projects, along with a number of measures thought to incentivise people to use alternative means of transport. He described public transport as an alternative means of transport which can help to reduce the number of vehicles on roads, and said that several steps need to be taken to encourage people to use it. The minister mentioned the initiatives already taken by the Government, including the scheme offering free public transport to all youths between the ages of 16 and 20 � a scheme which started in January 2018 and from which 28,000 youths are benefitting. This scheme translates into several benefits, including up to Euros 312 saved by these youths’ families, who will also be exempt from the initial payment required to apply for the tallinja card. Increased use of public transport by this sector of society also means that we will have less cars on our roads, especially during peak traffic hours. This scheme was extended after a similar scheme had been launched in 2017 for those who were 18 years of age. Minister Borg also reminded those present that the tallinja card has now also been extended to the ferry service and emphasised the commitment to continue incentivising people through other schemes.

While speaking about the pilot project, the minister said that this will be making the use of public transport more convenient, and explained that Wi-Fi access will be free and available upon signing, which would need to be done every time it is used as user details will not be kept on the system. He ascertained those present that access will be filtered so that security is ensured. The connection will be standard 4G and shared among all users, and there is the possibility of some interruptions while it is being optimised.

Minister Borg emphasised that the Government wholeheartedly believes in continuous dialogue and, in this case, in dialogue with the private operator for the improvement of the service. He reiterated the Government’s commitment to find more solutions within the public transport sector and said that it is imperative to always continue looking forward.

Source: Government of Malta