Not only has the government not discarded the Fast Ferry pledge as proposed; to the contrary, a call is currently open for more extensive service

The change in policy in this regard was to issue a commercial call instead of one integrated with the public service obligations as operated by the Gozo Channel

The Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects and the Ministry for Gozo are pleased to note the responses submitted by Transport Malta before the Public Contracts Review Board (PCRB), with regard to the call for ferry services (that can support fast operating speeds) issued by the same authority during the month of August.

As communicated several times, following research by respected experts (details below), Transport Malta made the decision to issue a call where bidders are invited to submit and develop a schedule with times and routes that must include 6 mandatory places. The ultimate goal is for our country to have a quick and clean ferry service connecting these places, which include Gozo, Marsaxlokk, Ta’ Xbiex, St Paul’s Bay, St Julian’s, and Valletta.

Transport Malta is allowing bidders the freedom to develop these routes themselves, and these can therefore be direct between these different destinations or else including stops. The schedules and routes can also include both formats, direct and indirect. Now that the authority has submitted the cost-benefit analysis carried out by the Economists E-Cubed Consultants, which researches and considers the viability of such a service, it is clear that Government was wise to decide to first give the market an opportunity for operators to submit their bids via commercial process instead of integrating it with the public service obligations, which would have only meant that the government would have had to fork out the subsidies from the public’s funds.

The same study by E-Cubed Consultants shows that the number of people willing to use the ferry as a clean and alternative mode of transport to the private vehicle augurs well for the market to put forward bids in the interest of the Maltese and Gozitan public.

The government also notes with satisfaction that through the submissions made by Transport Malta, the authority is insisting that the call should continue and not be stopped so that the people can begin benefitting from these new connections.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister