Gozitan employees association concerned by lack of mass transit option in tunnel plans

The Association of Gozitan Employees in Malta said a mass rapid transit system would better suit the country’s needs

AGEM urged the government to consider implementing a mass transit system linking the two islands
AGEM urged the government to consider implementing a mass transit system linking the two islands

Gozitan employees working in Malta would be better served by a mass rapid transit system between the two islands, the Association of Gozitan Employees in Malta (AGEM) said on Tuesday.

AGEM said it was concerned by the fact that it appears as though the proposed tunnel would not cater for rapid mass tansit, while calling for it to be involved in discussions and decision-making regarding the project. 

Last week, the Transport Ministry told MaltaToday that restricting the proposed tunnel to a public transport system was not on he cards, hinting also that it would be impossible to integrate it into a national underground system.

Restricting the Gozo tunnel to public transport is “not a viable solution to the current difficulties encountered by residents and businesses in Gozo”, a ministry spokesperson told MaltaToday.

However, in a statement, the AGEM said a “fast mass transport system” linking Gozo to points in Malta like the university, Valletta, Mater Dei Hospital and MCAST, would “better address the daily commuting needs of Gozitan workers.

“A metro system would surely eliminate the need for driving and reduce ‘waiting time’, whilst being more cost-time-effective,” the AGEM said, adding that it believed a metro system to be environmentally friendly.

The AGEM said stressed that authorities needed to focus on a “more strategic and long-term” plan to ease connectivity problems. Furthermore, it said that authorities need to carry out all the necessary studies, using non-biased research as soon as possible, as well as for all existent and future studies to be made public.

Finally, the AGEM called on authorities to “carefully evaluate all possible connectivity solutions without deciding in favour of a solution at the expense of another”.

Meanwhile, in comments to the Malta Independent, Gozo Tourism Authority CEO Joe Muscat said that the association had passed a resolution that in its view, the tunnel should look at the matter of connectivity between the two islands from a wider perspective and should incorporate an underground rail system.

Muscat also said the GTA would like to see a proper tourism impact assessment carried out, adding that Gozo’s current tourism model would definitely change once the tunnel is completed.

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