Public transport is to be given priority over other traffic during the morning rush hour (6.30 – 9 a.m.) in line with a decision taken this morning by the Public Transport Reform task force.

The task force, headed by the Prime Minister, met for the first time this morning. It was set up by the Prime Minister after a vote of confidence in Transport Minister Austin Gatt was only defeated by the Speaker's vote.

In a statement, the government said this decision was in line with government policy to promote the environment by promoting changes to the way people travelled.

The police and the army were instructed to, following consultation with Arriva, prepare a plan of action of how this decision could be implemented and monitored. This plan, which they have to draw up within a week, should also included proposals and analyses of bus priority possibilities and other measures.

The task force also includes Dr Gatt, Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici, Consumers Parliamentary Secretary Chris Said, the police commissioner, the AFM commander, senior police officers, Transport Malta and Arriva.

It agreed with the Transport Minister's analyses that Arriva should strengthen the route management structure. The company was asked to report on measures it would take in this regard as well as other measures to reduce the time taken during the journey for passengers to get tickets.

The task force is meeting again next week.

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