Alternattiva Demokratika – the Green Party welcomed the fact that bus routes have been changed to meet users’ requests. AD said that the public transport reform has so far failed to meet the expectations of many people, especially due to delays, congestion and lack of reliability.
Ralph Cassar, AD Spokesperson for Industry, Transport and Energy, said: “Efficient public transport is the backbone of a modern society. Commuters have to arrive at destination in shortest time, at an affordable price and in a planned manner. A bus fleet has been induced that is not compatible with the local road network structure due to its bus width and bus length. Time tables have been drafted without the consideration of peak and off peak hours. Displayed time tables are not respected and misleading. It is impossible to plan a bus journey: in peak hours, buses leave fully packed from starting point, not been able to take further passengers through its journey leaving passengers stranded at bus stops for an indefinite time. Spending an average of 90 minutes on a 10 km trip in these modern times is not acceptable. The costs inflicted to the economy due to the late arrival at work of employees is very important and not negligible. Beside the costs, it creates an extra burden and frustration to the citizens”.
Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: “Whilst one should acknowledge the fact that the new bus system has far less polluting buses and the fact that bus drivers are providing a better service, the fact remains that the new bus system is not reliable, and is thus causing hardships on many users who arrive late for work, appointments and who cannot properly plan their transport schedule. Alternattiva Demokratika is calling for the setting up of an action committee including not-only Government appointees, but, more importantly experts, civil society and local council representatives”
In the meantime, Alternattiva Demokrakita suggest that during that period, simple measures should be introduced: provide more bus trips during peak hours on heavily frequented trips, no sale of bus tickets on board, and the creation of more priority bus lanes. AD has also called for consideration of increased flexi-time options for workers so as to avoid traffic congestion, and added that the more people use public transport, the less traffic congestion.