Incompetence in Malta’s public transport system

Malta’s public transport is presently in dire straits, with a lack of punctuality and missed journeys being a daily occurrence.

Malta’s public transport is presently in dire straits, with a lack of punctuality and missed journeys being a daily occurrence.

I have logged sample occurrences since 2012 but have stopped doing so as it was evident that it was a futile exercise.

I have complained by phone and in writing to Malta Public Transport and Transport Malta.

Lately I copied the respective chairpersons as well Minister Ian Borg and Prime Minister Muscat. All emails were unacknowledged let alone replied to. Finally I wrote to the Ombudsman.

The situation to date remains the same. Both MPT and TM cite lack of drivers as the problem. However, Arriva, which had much less money allocated, used to hire private buses and drivers when they did not have enough. In contrast. MPT simply do not operate certain journeys, and this on a regular, if not daily basis.

I have accused MPT of mismanagement and incompetence. A look at my attached complaints is ample proof; and if this was not enough, the 5 December screen shot of the timetable is by itself sufficient to substantiate this claim.

Mario Desira


The road to hell…

They say that, at best, the road to hell is paved with good intentions but what happens when the intentions are not so convincingly good? I am afraid that this is the case with the latest points system which has just hit the roads.

Many drivers are now experiencing the brunt of this new law which, even if regarded objectively, appears flawed.

As usually happens with such laws, these are presented by the benevolent patriarchal authorities as a definitive cure to all ailments, in this case Maltese driving ailments. But from what I am observing, I am very dubious about the real reasons for these extreme measures. Suffice to say that the context of the law is dubious itself: the government is in an awkward situation when it comes to traffic on the roads.

In fact traffic jams abound most of the time all over the island and the number of cars on the roads has never been so high. So how can the authorities hit three birds with one stone? Easy… devise a point system which helps to collect money from fines, keep the insurers happy and give points to ‘bad’ drivers to keep them off the road and decrease the traffic flow. You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes to see through the scheme!

I don’t want to be misinterpreted or be regarded as an intransigent individual who is for anarchy on the roads for I too have seen the ubiquitous deliveryman who parks his lorry any which way he decides, blocking the way to one and all. Indeed I have also noticed the young lady stuck in gridlock outside my front door, holding the steering-wheel with two hands… but reading a book on her lap at the same time!

But on the other hand do you think it is fair to get fined or hit by the points system when you are stopped because one of the two children on the back seats has unbuckled the safety belt? Am I, as a driver, meant to have my eyes on the road or on the back seat?

Indeed, I pride myself, like many others, on being a careful driver but, sorry, things as they stand just do not convince and I am afraid that beyond all the rules and regulations that are already in place, the points system may be here to stay but at the end it will only lead to further frustration on the wheel and possibly more road rage.

Alfred I. Micallef

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