The Nationalist Party this morning unveiled details of its metro concept with party leader Simon Busuttil saying four underground lines were being proposed in a €2.3 billion project.
Addressing a news conference in Msida, he said that the first line, which would cost €425 million, would link Valletta to Msida, Sliema and St Julian's. It would require €10 million a year for upkeep.
This would link to line four which would link Ċirkewwa to the eventual Malta/Gozo tunnel ending in Victoria. Line four will cost €700 million.
Line three will link Valletta to Birkirkara, Ta’ Qali, Mosta and Naxxar. This will require €625 million to build and come with an upkeep cost of €14 million.
Line three will link Valletta to Paola, the airport, Fgura, Cottonera, Żabbar and Marsascala. This line will cost €595 million with an upkeep cost of €10 million.
A Nationalist government would embark on this national project immediately, creating many jobs. It was committing not to use any ODZ land for the project but if this was required, it would have to seek 2/3rd majority approval in Parliament. The PN's aim was that in the first line at least would be operating by the next five years. It would be a hybrid surface and underground metro.
The metro plan would be accompanied by a national infrastructure plan over a number of years. It would be part of a wider network that would include public buses, circular buses in localities, sea transport, bicycle lanes and pedestrian areas. It will also be accompanied with the maintenance and building of arterial roads, including four in Gozo, for which €60 million would be allocated.
The Nationalist Party’s plan also included a number of short-term measures it would start implementing immediately on taking office. One proposal was to provide free school transport for all students, including those attending church and independent schools.
This should help parents while substantially reducing traffic during peak hours.
The Nationalist government would retain the current transport system and build upon it. It would give holders of the karta anzjan and student cards free access to public buses, immediately encouraging people to use public transport.
Other proposals in the electoral programme, Dr Busuttil said, were aimed at encouraging people to give up their old polluting cars, replacing them with n newer cleaner models.
This would encourage people to scrap their old cars getting in return a €2,000 voucher.
The transport plan would also promote the use of bicycles with the government introducing bicycle lanes wherever there was space and coming up with regulations giving priority to cyclists where there was not.
It would also encourage people to use motorbikes instead of cars to reduce car circulation on the road.