Photographer's Note

Let us travel with old Maltese buses! II. WS - buses

Kind traveller! Do not be travelling on Malta with something else, only with old Maltese buses. The past is recalled, superb mood is added to the daily travels with their nostalgic mood…

Buses are the primary method of public transport for the islands, which offer a cheap and frequent service to many parts of Malta and Gozo. The vast majority of buses on Malta depart from a large circular terminus in Valletta.

Buses have been used on the island since 1905. These classic buses have become tourist attractions in their own right, due to their uniqueness, and are depicted on many Maltese advertisements to promote tourism as well as on gifts and merchandise for tourists. However, these old buses are slowly being replaced by a more modern fleet, albeit still customised in the tradition of the older buses.

The buses used to be colour coded, according to the their routes, before being painted green. Now the buses in Malta are all dark yellow, with a band of orange, while those on the sister island of Gozo are grey, with a red band.

The Public Transport Association, or as it is known in Maltese: Assocjazzjoni Trasport Pubbliku - ATP - is the biggest public transport provider on the island. It has a vast network covering the whole island of Malta besides offering other services like direct services and a special night service from popular night spots on the island. For the frequent user weekly tickets are available that make travelling by bus that much cheaper.

Short history of the Maltese Bus

In 1905 a certain Mr Spiteri was granted the permission to import buses from UK to run between Valletta and St. Andrew because, as you probably know, Malta was a military and naval base and transport was essential. At first, he imported six Thornycroft buses from UK to run between Valletta and St. Andrews. Later another twenty seven seaters single deckers and thirty six seaters Thornycroft double deckers started running between Valletta and St. Julians. These first buses were painted in yellowish green and with a black band. During this period several Maltese acquired lorries' chassis and converted them into buses and in a short time more different types were seen running from villages to Valletta.

Presently there are 508 buses working on a day on day off basis, thus 254 buses are working on route transport throughout the island every day. The rest of the buses that are on their day off, work private trips and perform school transport, carrying school children to and from various schools in Malta.
(Source: & & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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