Seven years after they disappeared from Maltese roads, a Maltese designer has come up with a proposal to give a technological twist to the fleet of old Maltese buses which truly had Maltese traits. Jonathan Mizzi believes that the modern version of old Maltese buses which work on electricity could once again give a distinctive quality to the bus service in Malta.
The handpainted letters (tberfil), the chrome bumper in the shape of angel wings, the Maltese cross, the horseshoe and the name of the bus owner. With a sense of nostalgia, while still looking to the future, designer Jonathan Mizzi wishes to once again see those characteristics which used to decorate our old buses up to a few years ago. He is proposing that these buses are brought back to Malta’s roads but are changed to electric buses instead, while retaining their old distinguishing features.
“All had visors, they all had split winds screens that looked like puppy dog eyes, big smiling chrome bumper, eyelids. They were almost like characters out of a Pixar Cars movie. We brought all that back and transposed it into a modern day chassis”.
Mr Mizzi said that he has been working on this proposal since 2011. He said that it fuses together new technology with symbols which used to give such character to our buses.
“We introduced modern day technologies such as LED to this idea of creating digital tberfil so you can have personalisation in terms of the Ave Maria, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Forever Young. It has been a real research development to capture the essence, the soul of the Maltese buses” he added.
Mr Mizzi’s idea has found the support of Heritage Malta and the Malta Arts Council. Even Transport Minister Ian Borg said that the proposal has brought back nostalgia for the traditional Maltese bus. He said that eventually the fleet of buses needs to change and the idea by Mizzi Studio is one to consider. Minister Borg said that the public transport system with a fleet of electric buses is ideal. He looks forward to this proposal being studied together with the designer.