Budget 2022 | Free public transport as from October 2022

Budget non-committal on metro and still gives no cut-off date for stopping imports of petrol cars, foresees 1,200 charging points for electric cars and increases grant for electric cars to €11,000

Malta will become the second EU country to introduce free public transport for all residents in possession of a Tal-Linja card as from October 2022.

Public transport, including that on trams and trains, has been free in Luxembourg since March 2020. Public transport in Malta is already free for over 75-year-olds.

The measure will mean that people using the bus to commute to work and back home will save at least €1.50 a day. Anyone using the bus twice a day between Monday and Friday would be saving €7.50 a week or €390 a year.

It remains to be seen whether this measure will also contribute to a shift from car use to public transport.

But the budget is non-committal with regards to the proposed metro with the finance minister simply saying that the government will proceed with public consultation on this topic. The budget includes no reference to Gozo to Malta tunnel.

As regards maritime transport, the budget refers to commitments made in previous budgets for the completion of quays in Bormla, Sliema and Bugibba.

The budget fails to provide a cut-off date for stopping the importation of petrol fuelled cars but crucially addresses one of the greatest obstacles for the transition to an electric fleet: the shortage of charging points. The budget includes a commitment to introduce 1,200 charging points in 3 years.

Malta’s Low Carbon Development Strategy clearly suggests that the ban on the imports of petrol and diesel-fuelled cars will come in place between 2030 and 2034. Currently in Malta, only 102 charging points are available to the general public.

But according to the strategy 6,500 charging points will have to be introduced by 2030 to support the uptake of EVs on a national scale.

The budget also increases the financial grant for those buying electric or hybrid cars from €8000 to €11,000. Moreover Malta Enterprise will introduce a new scheme assisting companies who change their fleet to an electric one.

A new measure included in the budget is a €900 grant for coaches, trucks and minibuses which have solar panel equipment installed on them. Current incentives for bicycles, pedalecs, scooters and electric bicycles will be retained.

Moreover the grant to those scrapping polluting cars will increase from €1,000 to €2,000.