Think twice before throwing away your Tallinja card. It will still be needed even though public transport will be free as from October 1, Malta Public Transport said on Tuesday.

It said in a statement the cards will be updated automatically allowing cardholders to access free transport.

But as at present, passengers must tap their personalised Tallinja card on the ticketing machine each time they board a bus.

Those not in possession of the card will need to purchase a ticket using cash or a contactless card.

Passengers caught without either a tapped Tallinja travel card or a cash ticket will be fined by Malta Public Transport officials who will be carrying out random inspections.

Free transport, the company said, applies to day and night route as well as special service journeys. It is necessary for the card to be in credit for Tallinja Direct or Tallinja On Demand trips, for which payment will still be required.

Those who currently have credit on their Tallinja card may save this for such services as well as other mobility services such as Tallinja Bike and the Valletta Ferry Services.

Customers may also get a refund for their remaining credit by applying for this online as from November 1. An administration fee per application will be charged.

Those that do not yet have a Tallinja card may apply for one online and provide an identification document such as a passport or identity card and personal and contact details.

Personalised Tallinja cards may not be shared and are not transferable.

Passengers caught using another person’s card will be fined €50, the company said.

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