Survey: what mode of transport do the Maltese prefer?

Walking and bicycles are still very much out of the question as cars dominate preferences for means of transport

Though traffic is of perennial concern, the Maltese are likely to obstinately refuse anything less than their private car
Though traffic is of perennial concern, the Maltese are likely to obstinately refuse anything less than their private car

It's no surprise that 80.6% of Maltese people prefer to use their own private cars as opposed to any other alternative means of transport according to a survey conducted by sister paper Illum.

The question posed to participants was: what mode of transport do you prefer using? 

Less than a quarter of the sample replied with 'buses' or 'public transport.' The survey found that just 16.6% of individuals prefer buses over any other means of transportation.

Bad news for the environment? Despite hundreds showing up to protest the Central Link project, what the government refers to as a 'solution to congestion', the survey betrays the Maltese people's heavy reliance on cars. 

The younger generations are the least likely to use public transport, the survey revealed, as those between the ages of 18 and 35—arguably the most active demographic in protesting for the environment—are the same people who most prefer their private car.

Only 7.3% from this age bracket said they preferred public transport. It's the elderly population that most prefers to use the public transport system.

18.5% of those between 51 and 65 years prefer to use buses while 39% of pensioners (over 65 years of age) prefer to use public transport.

Gozitans less hooked on cars

The survey showed how 23.6% of Gozitans prefer buses and by extension, only 66.8% of them prefer their private cars, almost 15% less than their Maltese counterparts. 

This could stem from the shorter distances on the sister island and less traffic congestion and smaller population there. 

However, the northern part of Malta showed an inclination towards preferring their car as just 8.4% replied by saying that they preferred public transport. This could be a testament to the larger populations here and the amount of tourists that prefer to visit that part of the island. 

Cars for higher education?

It seems that an education is also a significant factor in determining whether one prefers a car over public transport. 

34% of those responders who have just a primary level of education prefer to use the bus while just 7.8% of those with a tertiary education do so.

Those with a secondary and post-secondary education who prefer buses go up to 16% and 17.3% respectively.

The survey concluded that 90.6% of university-educated people and 90.8% of those aged between 18 and 35 prefer using their own car. Men are also likely to use cars more than females as the survey showed how 83% of men prefer their car to 78.3% of women.

Bicycles and walking? No way!

Just 1% of responders said that they would rather walk. 0.3% said they would use other means of transport, such as bicycles and peelecs. 

Walking was most popular with those people who have a post-secondary education. 

Participants would rather use taxis than walking, although not by much as 0.6% said they'd prefer to use a taxi.

Cars remain the indisputable favourite choice for the Maltese on an island that spans just 27 kilometres in length. 

The survey was conducted by Illum between 29 July and 2 August with 549 participants. The margin of error is +/-5%.