Watch: “The metro is a solution to traffic – a tunnel to Gozo means more cars” – academic

A metro system in the country will bring about big changes to our way of living, particularly by improving the traffic system. This was stated by University of Malta academic Professor Godfrey Baldacchino, who spoke about the proposal for a metro in Malta during the ‘Insights’ programme. Baldacchino pointed out that about 80% of vehicles in Malta only carry one person.

Professor Baldacchino said the country needs a system for mass transportation. He is convinced such a project will bring about many changes. Among others, if Gozitans will have the facility to travel by metro between Rabat, Gozo and the airport in just half an hour, they will no longer need to come and live in Malta.

Asked whether he thought the metro should also include Gozo, Professor Baldacchino said he is of the opinion that a tunnel should be made between both islands to be used by the metro. He explained that a tunnel should not be made to accommodate vehicles, as this would only boost the use of private cars. Baldacchino pointed out that mechanisms exist in countries like Singapore that make one think twice before using one’s car, and these include tariffs on car use and parking on payment.

The academic stated, however, that for a metro to be successful, it has to work hand in hand with an updated public transport system.

Whilst recognising the fact that non-polluting vehicles account for various environmental benefits, Professor Baldacchino said electric-powered cars will not solve the traffic problem.

The speaker described Malta as a city-state, adding he has worked out that some 700,000 persons will be living on the Maltese Islands by the end of the century.

Meanwhile, ‘Insights’ took to the streets of Valletta and asked the public for their views on the metro. The majority replied that if the country had a metro system, they would be prepared to use it.

Discussions on a metro system for Malta have picked up again. This month the Government presented the proposal and studies by the Arup company. The latest three proposals for a metro system in Malta were carried out by Arup as commissioned by the Government, by the KonceptX company, and by the Nationalist Party in 2017.

‘Insights’  is aired every Tuesday at 6.30 p.m. on TVMNEWS+.