Malta Public Transport (MTP) has informed The Malta Independent on Sunday that it is unable to reach its full capacity because of traffic congestion.
The Malta Independent reported that the MTP has received numerous reports regarding long waiting times for buses that are often full and the general deterioration of its service. Although the overall capacity of the service has been questioned, MTP insists that they have enough buses. The public bus service is able to carry 28,000 passengers per hour, although at peak times only 12,000 passengers an hour use the service. "We aren't even reaching our full capacity because it's taking longer for buses to reach their destinations as they're stuck in traffic, meaning passengers are waiting longer", said an MTP spokesperson.
Instead of more buses, MTP has said that part of the solution is utilising the buses where they are needed. MTP is in the difficult situation where around 20% of the bus routes are used by 50% of its passengers. While routes in the south are carrying more than 1000 passengers an hour, other buses may carry that number of passengers over an entire week.
Increasing the number of drivers is also important and is recognised by the company as the being part of the long-term solution. Accepting that the company faces recruitment challenges, the MTP spokesperson told the newspaper that 60 drivers were currenty being trained and another 100 will join the training programme in the coming weeks. This is also in preparation for the upcoming busy summer period.
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Source: story first published by The Malta Independent on Sunday on 25/03/2018