F’konferenza stampa hdejn il-venda tal-Arriva l-Belt, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party qalet li sena wara r-riforma tat-transport pubbliku, hija evidenti li ghalkemm is-servizz mexa l-quddiem, fadal hafna biex vera ssehh rivoluzzjoni fit-transport pubbliku.
Michael Briguglio, Chairperson tal-AD, qal: “Hija pozittiva hafna li Malta helset mill-flotta antika tal-karozzi tal-linja li kienu jniggsu u li t-transport pubbliku m’ghadux immexxi minn nies arroganti. Pero, li ghandha bhalissa huwa servizz tat-transport pubbliku li, minkejja li mexa ftit ‘l quddiem, hemm fejn jista’ jitjieb hafna aktar specjalment f’certi rotti li tnehhew jew tnaqqsu. Huwa wkoll dizappuntanti meta tisma’ dwar l-isfruttament tal-haddiema tal-Arriva li qeghdin jithallsu ftit wisq ghal shifts twal. Nappella lil dawn il-haddiema biex jinghaqdu. Hija cara li l-gvern, li qed jirrifjuta li jaghti fondi adegwati lit-transport pubbliku, qed jibqa’ jahsel idejh mir-responsabbilta’ ghal transport pubbliku universali u accessibli b’kundizzjonijiet tajbin tax-xoghol”.
Ralph Cassar, kelliem ghat-trasport, energija u IT zied:”Huwa car li s-servizz mhux qed ilahhaq mad-domanda. F’certi hinijiet l-iskeda mhux qed tinzamm, u l-frekwenza ta’ vjaggi mhux qed tinzamm. Hemm diversi ezempji ta’ problemi: Marsaskala, l-Fgura, il-frekwenza tal-vjaggi ma tinzammx minn Birkirkara u l-Hamrun. Il-problema x’aktarx hija li m’hemmx bizzejjed karozzi tal-linja. Austin Gatt dahhal sistema biex inaqqas l-infieq tal-gvern f’dal-qasam importanti b’rizultat mhux sodisfacenti. Ghalkemm is-servizzi zdiedu jidher illi xorta mhux qed ilahqu mad-domanda u f’certi kazijiet mhux qed ikun affidabbli. Barra minn hekk is sistema tal-biljetti qed tfisser hafna telf ta’ hin. Iz-zewg livelli differenti ta’ tariffi qed tfixkel lix-xufiera u tfisser vjaggi itwal u hafna stennija.”
In a press conference near the Bus Terminus in Valletta, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that one year after the public transport reform, it is evident that despite improvements in the service, there is a long way to go for a public transport revolution.
Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: “It is positive that Malta had got rid off its previous fleet of heavily-polluting junk buses and that public transport is no longer run by cowboys. Yet, what we have now is a public transport service, which, despite various improvements, still leaves much to be desired, especially with regard to certain routes which were removed or downsized. It is also very disappointing to hear of the exploitation of Arriva workers who are paid a pittance for long shifts. I appeal to such workers to find strength in unity. It is clear that the Government, which refuses to give adequate funding to public transport, keeps washing its hands of its responsibility for universally accessible public transport with goob job conditions.”
Ralph Cassar, AD spokesperson for transport, energy and IT, said: “It is very clear that the system is not coping with the demand. During certain periods of the day the timetable is not adhered to and the frequency of routes is not adhered to. There are various examples of the problems: Marsascala, Fgura, the frequency of the routes passing through Birkirkara and Hamrun is not being adhered to. Most probably the problem is that there are not enough buses. Austin Gatt introduced a system which reduced subsidies in this important area and this gave unsatisfactory results. In certain instances it appears that the services have increased, however it is still not coping with the demand and is also not reliable. Moreover the ticketing system means a waste of time. The two different tariff systems are hampering the driver with the result of longer trips and waiting times.”