Borg pledges gradual transition to free bus service

Miguela Xuereb

Transport Minister Ian Borg pledged that the bus service would eventually become free of charge for all within a number of years in a bid to promote the use of public transport.

Borg was granted the opportunity to speak about the government’s plans through a parliamentary question made by government MP Anthony Agius Decelis.

He noted that at present, the service was already free for students and young people aged between 14 and 20, those over 75 and bus users with special needs – around 80,000 people in all.

This practice, the minister confirmed, would gradually be extended to the rest of the population, as part of the government’s aim to render public transport a viable alternative to private vehicles.

But Borg also acknowledged that the service needed to improve in some areas.

Subsequently, opposition whip Robert Cutajar questioned whether there were plans to reintroduce a route starting from Għadira Bay, noting that buses hailing from Ċirkewwa were often full up by the time they reached the area. Borg said that talks were underway with the Mellieħa council, but emphasised that adding new routes entailed increasing government subsidies for the service.