As a frequent visitor to Malta over the past 15 years, I think Malta Public Transport delude themselves if they think they are doing a good job. They have reverted the scheduling of buses to the bad old days, pre-Arriva, when services were infrequent and finished in early evening.

What MPT do not seem to understand is that the tourists to Malta are major users of the system. The tourist area stretches along the north-east coast, from Buġibba to Sliema, and what tourists want is frequent buses along these routes, running to at least 11pm. Arriva had achieved this, possibly at the expense of running local services, stopping at every lamp-post.

Now, there are infrequent services, every 30 minutes, usually stopping at about 10pm and with the frequency after 8pm dropping to every 60 minutes. This has resulted in overcrowded buses, which you have little chance of boarding unless you do so at the terminus.

As a result of these poor services, more tourists hire cars rather than use public transport thus increasing chaos on the road.

Arriva used to deploy route 12 bus from Buġibba to Valletta every 15 minutes with the last service at about 11pm. MPT have changed this to route 212, leaving every 30 minutes, with the service every 60 minutes. after 8pm and the last bus departing Sliema at 10pm.

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