Malta Public Transport Announces €8 Million Investment for Fleet Expansion to Enhance Service Reliability and Sustainability

Malta Public Transport has allocated an investment of €8 million for the acquisition of 30 new buses, aimed at enhancing the reliability and capacity of its public transport services. This development is a strategic response to the increasing demand for public transport within the nation, as evidenced by a 19% rise in passenger numbers to 17.2 million in the first quarter of 2024, compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Additionally, the number of active Tallinja cardholders, indicative of users engaging with the bus service at least once during the quarter, has also seen a 19% increase from 188,000 to 224,000 from the first quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024.

This fleet expansion, increasing the total to 500 units, positions Malta as a leading nation in Europe in terms of public transport accessibility. Felipe Cosmen, Chairman of Malta Public Transport, emphasized the company’s commitment to addressing the needs of both passengers and drivers for increased capacity, highlighting that this investment is a direct fulfillment of such demands.

The organization has also made advancements in digital solutions, notably through enhancements to the Tallinja App, which now features real-time bus tracking and service alerts. This technological upgrade has been met with positive feedback from users. The newly acquired buses will be equipped with Euro 6 diesel technology, USB chargers, and free WiFi, prioritizing environmental considerations alongside passenger safety and comfort.

Despite the decision to invest in diesel technology at this juncture, Malta Public Transport maintains a strong commitment to sustainability. The choice was informed by the immediate need to expand capacity and the recognition of the extensive infrastructure and lengthy manufacturing processes required for electric buses. “Our experience with electric buses has been positive, but it has shown us that these require extensive infrastructure and manufacturing processes, leading to longer implementation times,” Cosmen noted, underscoring the practical considerations behind the decision.

Looking ahead, Malta Public Transport has plans to increase its fleet of electric buses, with a goal of introducing 120 fully electric zero-emission buses by the end of 2025. This initiative is part of a broader strategy supported by European Resilience and Recovery Funds, aimed at enhancing the sustainability of Malta’s public transport system.

The support from various stakeholders, including the government and the Authority for Transport in Malta, plays a crucial role in Malta Public Transport’s strategy to improve and sustain the future of public transport in the country. By continuing to invest in both immediate and long-term solutions, the company is committed to providing a transport service that meets the evolving needs of the community, emphasizing reliability, sustainability, and customer satisfaction.