Having spent an enjoyable (apart from the bus service) three weeks in Malta, I find on my return an article in The Times of London concerning the incentives in Malta to boost investment. At the end of the article it says that Malta “will have to sort out the inadequate infrastructure that means endless traffic jams and hopeless public transport”.

I read in the Times of Malta a reply by a Malta Public Transport official to criticism about the bus service on route 54. This included a graph. As anyone who studied statistics, as I have, would know there is a lot of truth in the statement ‘there are lies, damned lies and statistics’. You can prove anything by selecting sample, size and other parameters to fit your answer.

Sending pretty pictures of the route 54 service does nothing to solve the problem caused by bad routing and the practice of using the incoming service to provide the next service out.

With regard to routes, Malta Public Transport needs to see to it that buses go through the suitable roads and follow a more direct route. It is no good providing a service that goes all round a small locality if this means it gets stuck in traffic jams. Take, for example, the airport bus service. The X3 takes at best 80 minutes from Buġibba to the airport because it goes around Birkirkara, Paola and other well-known traffic jam spots. If it took a direct route, as does a taxi, with perhaps two stops the travel time could be cut to about 40 minutes. This would benefit Malta Public Transport in the long run because those going to Luqa would rather pay €1.50 for a bus than €20+ for a taxi.

I understand the buses are run by a Spanish company. That explains everything: maniana.

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