Entrepreneur Anglu Xuereb revives monorail proposal

Entrepreneur Angelo Xuereb discussed €300 million monorail transport project with Transport Malta.

Entrepreneur Anglu Xuereb
Entrepreneur Anglu Xuereb

Have you given up on using public transport? Don't worry, entrepreneur Angelo Xuereb might have the solution to Malta's perennial transport problems. In an interview with daily newspaper l-orizzont, the hotelier and construction magnate, resuscitated the underground transport system, which he had first proposed 23 years ago.

However, over the years the project has evolved and Xuereb has now settled for a monorail system which would be partly above ground level and a ferry service linking Sliema, Valletta and the Three Cities.

Admitting that an underground system would be unsustainable, Xuereb explained that his revised proposal incorporates a monorail which would mainly be above ground and operate 24/7.

Explaining that the proposal would cost around €300 million, Xuereb said that the electric cabins or people carriers would take up the lion's share of the projected cost.

 "I estimate that the whole project would cost around €300 million. That's the capital expenditure. But it includes the underground car parks which will cost a substantial amount. If its managed by the private sector, they could be financed privately. Therefore, the capital expenditure would not necessarily be a burden on the government's budget."

However, the entrepreneur said that government would need to cover the expenses to construct tunnels, although such a project could also be eligible for EU funds.

Asked why his proposal was shelved by successive governments, Xuereb explained that the previous PN administration had overlooked the project because it deemed it too expensive.

"They could not understand that the estimated cost was high because of the tunnels," he said. But the new government, Xuereb said was more receptive and apart from submitting his proposal to Transport Malta chief James Piscopo, he also held a meeting with the authority.

He also welcomed the fact that in it 2014 Budget, the Labour administration announced that a "feasibility study on transport will be undertaken to evaluate the possibilities of underground and monorail services."

Pointing out that he is not interested in being awarded the contracts to construct the transport networks, Xuereb said that he had no rights on the project and was only acting out of love for his country.

He said the network would cover 7.5km, including a 2km stretch in Marsa which would be elevated. Xuereb is proposing the creation of four stations in Valletta, Fgura, Marsa and Msida next to Mater Dei Hospital.

"These four places will not only serve as stations where the monorail stops but they would also serve as interchange stations. Moreover, buses will transport people to these stations and people can also drive directly to the stations in their private cars," he said, explaining that underground car parks which can take up to 2,000 vehicles would be constructed in these stations.

Xuereb added that the proposal includes the use of ferry boats which would go through a tunnel beneath Valletta, allowing the boats to carry passengers from Sliema to Valletta and The Three Cities.

"You cannot look at the ferries or the monorail in isolation. We need a monorail which encourages people to use public transport and at the same time link the north and south parts of the islands by sea."


Pure fantasy Sur Xuereb . You must have watched The Fifth Element , Cloud Atlas or the Star Wars movies over the Christmas period .
It seems that nobody has considered the aesthetic disaster that a monorail would create. Malta's unique landscape would be changed for ever. Using the 300 million euros to further subsidise the yet to be revamped bus service would be the way to go. People would leave their cars behind if the bus service is efficient,on time, pleasant and cheap. This could only be achieved though subsidy. Not a high price to pay if it will eliminate or at the very least significantly reduce congestion.
A load of pipe (tunnel) dreams. We can`t even manage a bus company. Add more cabbages to the soup. Let`s call it RAILIVA.
Priscilla Darmenia
Perhaps a monorail will be the best solution as these rails stand on pillars which have a small footprint thus can be built on present main roads without obstructing the flow of traffic underneath them. – Where the roads are wide and in squares a station can be constructed on a platform, which should also be built on pillars to have a small footprint. – For sure such transport can assure us of punctuality as there will be no traffic jams.
The creation of a monorail is not new but it should seriously be looked into. But letting Transport Malta run the show is already the first mistake. Look what they did with the Arriva routes. The monorail has to be built underground and above ground as needed. The Main route of the Monorail should be run from Cirkewwa, straight to Valletta and to the Airport with extensions to all the cities on the way. If we are going to do something let us do it right for a change. And Please, please, do not put a boy in charge of doing a man's job like the PN did with Arriva. We all know what happened on that episode.
Joseph Pace
A system of three lines is what in my opinion is needed. Line 1: Pembroke - St. Julian's - Sliema - Gzira - Msida - Hamrun - Qormi - Luqa - Airport Line 2: Mosta - Attard - Birkirkara - Santa Venera - Hamrun - Marsa - Paola - Zabbar Line 3: Hamrun - Blata l-Bajda - Floriana - Valletta. Thus, with the central point being Hamrun (ideally and for practical reasons I'd pinpoint the area where the current St Ignatius College Girls Junior Lyceum is located), this would serve as the hub from where then one could avoid traffic jams by getting the Hamrun to Valletta line and terminating it at the current bus terminus. Vehicle, Bicycles, Park and rides / bus connections should be also made available at the start and end points of the routes.
Excellent idea that the Government should seriously look into, at least explore ideas and brainstorm with a view of starting some work soon... we can't just leave these things hanging as previous governments have, always labeling initiatives as "too expensive" when they would benefit the general population, but always loose with money otherwise! Malta can easily become a paradise island. It is nearly there already! But anyone with some imagination will agree that Malta can only become the paradise island we all wish for with an underground rail system. Imagine the reduced levels of stress when we won't have to live in all this traffic! Prosit to the national authorities that are giving these ideas the prominence they deserve