A number of university students have joined forces and formed themselves into a group to express their frustration with what they call an “inefficient and disorganized public transport system”, and have announced that they will be holding a public protest to voice their discontent with Arriva and Transport Malta over the current situation.
These students have just one goal and that is to reach someone who has power and who can make changes to the bus system. Every student that is using the bus transport has the same issue and they have decided to do something about it and change it.
The way these students want to make change is to protest these bus services. One of the things these students want to achieve by this change is to make a bus system that will work much more efficiently. This way not only the students would benefit, but everyone even the bus companies.
Bus service in Malta has one major issue and that is the design of the routes. Almost every bus line that goes to the university has to go a detour route that takes much longer. Sometimes, deepening the traffic, it can take these students an hour just to travel to the university.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the group, calling itself “Reboot: Ghal Trasport Pubbliku Ahjar” (Reboot: For Better Public Transport), argues that the problems with the new public transport system implemented over the last few months are widespread and that it is clear that there is a need for a radical reform of the system:
“The present problem affects everyone: children, youths, workers, housewives and the elderly. Drivers too must surely have realized that traffic has increased over the last few months and that those with cars have had to offer more lifts to those who are not being well-served by the public transport system. This is a struggle for the entire population, to unite without any partisan motives to ensure that our needs are fulfilled.”
It calls for students, as well as the general public, to join with its members in a peaceful march in Valletta on November 4th to show their dissatisfaction with the public transport reform, and to call for a better service. In the meantime, it encourages everyone to submit comments and complaints, which it promises to forward to the relevant authorities, in order to push for change:
“The Customer Care services offered by Arriva and Transport Malta have proved insufficient, and therefore if the change we are calling for does not take place, we are ready to take immediate action with all constructive means at our disposal”
In fact, in the days since the setting up of the group it has already received a large number of complaints, with many students complaining about the increased duration of their trips due to the new university routes, while still others speak of missing lectures due to scheduled buses not turning up.
Speaking to insiteronline.com, a spokesman for Transport Malta said: “Although we do not know the persons forming this campaign, we still feel that we have to listen to any constructive comments, especially if these help us to improve our services. Therefore, we extend our invitation to meet their representatives if and when they have enough contributions which preferably should be grouped for easier consideration. We have already taken into consideration various comments and suggestions coming from other quarters.”
Representatives from Arriva were also contacted but declined to make any comment.