€1.49 billion monorail in Malta project pipeline for EU cash

79km project is one of many submitted to the EC for €300 billion European Investment Initivative

Monorail on the corner of Pitt & Liverpool Streets in Sydney
Monorail on the corner of Pitt & Liverpool Streets in Sydney

A list of potential projects submitted by Malta for the European Investment Initiative includes the construction of monorail project involving over-ground and underground lines running North-South and West-East intersecting at key traffic junction and feeding at its various stops into other above-ground public transport means.

The estimated cost will be €1.42 billion, the Maltese task force, led by financial services expert Alfred Mifsud, told the European Commission.

“Being an island State on the periphery of Europe, Malta does not share hard borders with other EU states and is disadvantaged both by its insularity and by the inability to co-ordinate with other member states for cross-border projects,” the task force said.

“Malta needs strong transport links with the rest of the Union as well as efficient urban transport within its own borders. Malta is small enough to render practically all urban internal transport subject to the ‘last mile’ syndrome.”

Malta claims that the mono-rail will be the “ultimate solution” for urban mobility.

The  will intersect at a core traffic junction, with various stops feeding into other over-ground public transport services. “This will bring a cataclysmic change to the daily commute, making public transport the preferred means of urban transport, generating efficiency and economic growth as people will spend less time wasted in traffic congestions.”

Malta said the project will also drastically diminish carbon dioxide emissions.

The project is being spearheaded by Transport Malta, as regulator and operator, which estimates the 79-km service to cost €1.42 billion and planned in four phases.

Technical, socio-economic and financial feasibility studies are underway and expected to be completed by June 2015, with a start-time for early 2017 if financing is in place. 
Execution will be planned in four phases each involving a duration of 24 months so that the first phase will be completed by end 2018.

The government said the monorail would finance itself if it provides a reliable, efficient and environmental-friendly means of urban transport.

Consideration will be given to using the rails and tunnels of the Malta Railways which was a train service from Valletta to Mdina which started in 1882 and was mothballed in 1931 when private car transport rendered train service superfluous. 

“Travellers will add at least 30 minutes per day to productive work or social quality time, which is currently being wasted blocked in traffic. It will stimulate the much desired increase in female labour participation as parents can reliably plan the daily commute of their children to school/kindergartens rather than having to drive them back and forth individually.”

Government will co-finance the investment by conducting all technical, environmental and regulatory studies.

EU-EIB funds will co-finance with equity and mezzanine finance, and the private sector will invest enough to bring the government/EU funds up to 50% of costs.


The task force said that the support would enjoy broad support citing MaltaToday surveys which say that traffic and parking problems had become the top concern for the population.

Malta is the country with the highest population density in the EU, with a population density average of 1325 persons per sq. km. compared to the EU average 117 persons per sq. km. In the northern harbour area density shoots up to 5,015 persons per sq. km.