Konrad Pule’. General Manager of Malta Public Transport, said that mobility was about moving people and not cars.
“People want realistic alternative solutions to the car. It is the only way that they will change their ways and reduce their dependency on cars,” he told the guests at the Parliament of Enterprises organised by the Malta Chamber.
“Sustainable mobility has to be at the top of our agenda. Our population will continue to grow, putting a strain on our infrastructure. We need to be smarter with how we allocate our limited space.”
Mr Pule’ said that public transport had to become central to the daily commuting patterns of the Maltese population, in order to reverse the trend with regard to the increase in car registrations.
He said that Malta Public Transport was already providing a far-reaching public transport service in Malta and Gozo, and was very well positioned to be the natural choice for people wanting to travel easily.
“We are very proud to have hit a record 53 million passengers in 2018. This is a 40 per cent increase over four years. It has surely left a major impact on the environment, and on traffic congestion, to the benefit of our quality of life.”
“The various new mobility solutions and other initiatives launched in recent years are also commendable and will surely contribute towards modal shift. However achieving sustainable mobility requires more than just a strong increase in bus passengers. It requires commitment and a long term vision to transform our outlook on mobility.”
Mr Pule’ said public transport in Malta needed to evolve. “Many people, including members of Parliament, recognise the need to move large amounts of people quicker, and more efficiently. I have many times spoken about the importance of segregating buses from traffic, and to use technology to give them priority on our roads. Many countries have done this by implementing Bus Rapid Transit systems, which reduced journey times, and improved the overall customer experience. This can be a viable solution for Malta.”
He called for the implementation of the National Transport Strategy and Master Plan that was approved a few years ago, which specifically spoke of the need to reduce car usage in order to avoid gridlock.
“We are still in time to make a difference for the generations to come. Let us be proud of all our accomplishments by providing future-proof and sustainable mobility solutions for our country.”