The BUS20+ campaign, a free public transport initiative for young people aged from 14 to 20 and for full-time students 21 or older, has just been launched.
“The government will continue investing in these youths – €3.3 million so that we can now extend this benefit to youths aged from 14 to 20 and all full-time students who are 21 or older,” Transport Minister Ian Borg said.
“This is one of the ways in which we are extending a financial benefit not only to our youths but to their families. It is a way in which we are allowing parents to refrain from using their private vehicle, especially during hours when our roads witness a great volume of traffic.”
“This is a way in which we are promoting the use of an important means by youths when they are deliberating about which means they will use to travel in their near future. We must, therefore, start teaching youths from a young age that there are alternatives to the private vehicle, to continue working towards a necessary shift in our country’s transport culture,” explained Dr Borg.
While speaking about the BUS20+ scheme, Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo also referred to the two different agreements connected to free transport – one for state school students and another one for students attending Church and independent schools. Mr Bartolo stressed that he would continue working to find transport to take every student on the waiting list to Church and independent schools.
The number of students attending state schools making use of the free transport service is 14,500 while students attending non-state schools who make use of the service come up to 13,500, amounting to a total of 28,000 students. There are eight transport operators with a contract for state school transport – six in Malta and two in Gozo. Meanwhile, operators with a contract for non-state school transport amount to 169 contractors in Malta and another nine in Gozo. The global total of operators registered in the free transport scheme so far is 186 and 1,183 vehicles are used daily at the same time for this service.