Minister for Transport Ian Borg and Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri visited the village of San Lawrenz in Gozo, where an on-demand transport service with an electric van together with an e-bike sharing service were launched.
These services are possible thanks to a grant won by the same council in the 2017 edition of the European Mobility Week. During the activity, Borg also announced the competitions and theme for this year.
Borg said, “From its beginning in 2014, the European Mobility Week has given around €548,000 in grants which led to 14 permanent projects like this and 36 different activities which happened during the same week in September in the last few years. This year, the theme is ‘Zero-emission mobility for all’, with the aim of taking a step towards the European Green Deal objectives. As with every year, we will have a permanent measures competition, a competition for awareness-raising activities, the national bike ride and a Car Free Day. This week reflects the work done by Transport Malta throughout the year, which varies from educational campaigns and workshops on the media and in schools, to financial incentives for the public to invest in more sustainable transport, such as electric vehicles, pedelecs and small electric motorcycles.”
Camilleri said that electricity for this community van will be generated by photovoltaic panels owned by the San Lawrenz Council, and the service will therefore operate through renewable energy from start to finish. He explained that we are witnessing local councils who are benefitting from this permanent initiative, which will begin and continue moving forward.
“As Ministry for Gozo, we want to see how we can continue to incentivise and help such initiatives to see Gozo benefiting in the best way from alternative energy initiatives, and I therefore look forward to see this service operating together with the Local Council and to expand this service to other villages,” he said.
European Mobility week takes place from the 16th to the 22nd September. As in other years, Transport Malta will administer two competitions. The permanent measures competition is open for local councils with the goal of long-term planning for sustainable mobility, with special focus on walking, cycling, micro-mobility and accessible infrastructure.
The first winner will receive a sum of €50,000 while the second winner will get €30,000. Additionally, another competition exists for activities organised during that week only by local councils and NGOs in respective localities. Here, grants vary from €1,500 for the organisation of a car free day on 22nd September, to €2,000 for the organisation of events during that week, to €2,500 for the organisation of both activities and a car free day. The Authority plans to hold the National Bicycle Ride on 21st September of this year.
The deadline for permanent measures applications is 25th September, while registrations for activities to be organised during European Mobility Week will be accepted until 15th September.