Bus driver behaviour tops complaint list

More people complain about bus drivers than they do about buses arriving late.

More people complain about the behaviour of bus drivers than about anything else bus-related, government sources have revealed. 765 complaints about bad bus driver behaviour have been received by Malta Public Transport Ltd, Transport Malta and the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure between January and July of this year. Complaints about bus punctuality are the second most frequent, with 560 such complaints being made between January and July of this year. Complaints about routes come third with 229. 
Fewer people have been filing bus-related complaints in the first seven months since the government nationalised public transport than when it was still under Arriva’s hands last year, government sources have revealed. Government-owned Malta Public Services Ltd took over Arriva’s operations in January this year.

The statistics show that around 4,500 less complaints were received between January-July 2014 than between the same periods in 2013. However, the high figures in March and April 2013 were partially due to the government undergoing a public consultation process during that period.
Transport Minister Joe Mizzi has confirmed that Malta's public transport operation will be handed over to Autobuses de Leon by January 2014. The company is expected to receive an annual government subsidy of between €25 and €29 million, whereas Arriva used to receive an annual subsidy of €10 million. It is as yet unknown whether the bus fares will rise, with Mizzi simply repeating that they will be “affordable”. 

The government has said that it wants to see a shift from private to public transport usage and Mizzi said that he will take “hard measures” if this shift doesn’t happened. He has so far declined to answer what these measures could look like. 

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