Futuristic buses that run on electricity, are made up of individual modules, and are mostly recyclable? Welcome to the next evolution in Malta’s public transport bus fleet.
Felipe Cosmen, the Chairman of Malta Public Transport, announced that a new, entirely 100% electric bus would be hitting Maltese roads for its first test drive. The test comes after the Vero 9 Model from bus makers TAM was first successfully used in places like Dubai and Switzerland.
Now, it will be tested to see how it performs on the Maltese roads to see how it responds to Malta’s frequent hills… and even more frequent stops.
It looks like test drives could be landing as soon as this week, with MPT expected to try out the electric buses on Malta’s roads in the coming days.
Noting how Malta’s fleet was one of the “cleanest and youngest in Europe” with over half the fleet’s buses being less than five years old, Cosmen noted that the new bus was the latest in MPT’s drive to lessen climate change, urging people to continue using public transport to help the environment.
The Vero 9 Model is 9.5 metres in length and is made up of three separate modules: the driver’s area, the passenger’s area and the engine.
This makes the new electric buses slightly smaller than the ones used in larger towns like St. Paul’s Bay, where buses that are 12 metres long are currently used.
Modules can be added in future if needed, as can be seen in the image above.
Cosmen also noted that many parts and features of the bus would be recyclable and that all public transport drivers had been given tablets in an effort to reduce paper waste.
During the test phase, the new buses would not be replacing any buses currently in use, but will instead be added over and above any current routes to increase passenger load.
Joseph Bugeja, the Chairman of Transport Malta, thanked Cosmen for MPT’s increased focus on bettering the quality of Malta’s public transport and their strong focus on the environment.
As the buses take the road, MPT will be collecting feedback from passengers and drivers and will use this in their training going forward.
Malta’s public transport system has increased the number of passengers it has carried in recent years.
While 53 million individual rides were taken in 2018, over 58 million were taken in 2019, with more increases expected in the future.