The month of August brings much stronger passenger loads for public transport, mainly of tourists. One of the longest routes and most frequented during this month is that from Valletta to Ċirkewwa and a crew from Television Malta took a ride on this route to see its service and sound the views of passengers, both Maltese and tourists, who frequent this service at this particular time of the year.
The bus left the Valletta Terminal shortly after 9 am and took about 90 minutes to arrive at Ċirkewwa. At the onset, the bus was half full but on arrival at Mosta the bus was full and the aisle jammed with passengers.
At this time there was not so much traffic but badly parked vehicles caused the bus to stop several times.
By the time it reached Mellieħa it was fully loaded and although tourists were waiting at bus stops the driver could not allow more passenger loading.
Tourists waiting at Mellieħa gave us their views on Malta’s public transport.
“I think it is ok but sometimes the buses are very full and we cannot go in and you have to wait for the next one and if it is so hot, it is not so nice.”
“When we are driving to the beach, I think it is quite ok, because if you need to travel 10 minutes and then it is 15 in the end or 20 than it’s ok, but if you want to go to for example Valletta and you need one hour with the bus then it is late and there is a traffic jam, then you need two and a half, than it is bad.”
From the Ċirkewwa Terminal buses depart on time and also take on passengers loaded with baggage. On arrival in Valletta the bus was full and the journey took 90 minutes. Buses were in a decent state and the conduct of drivers was appreciated by passengers.
Maltese passengers using public transport said the service was generally good but more needs to be done.
“I like to take out the children because they usually ride in their parents’ car and so during their holidays we use the service”.
“We have been waiting here for over an hour. A bus should have left at 12.30 and an hour later it is still not arrived and that is how long we have been waiting”.
As of this week operator Malta Public Transport has increased the frequency of a number of services, including the X4 route from Valletta to Birżebbuġa as well as on route 48 from Valletta to Buġibba with departures on both routes from Valletta every 15 minutes.