Six very exciting months of teasing later, the next phase of what will hopefully end up being Malta’s new bus fleet has been announced… and it’s aptly landing where the familiar yellow fleet all started.
Mizzi Studio, together with Move Malta, are planning to unveil it latest strides in bringing Malta’s old buses back to our streets (with an added tech-flair, of course), and they’re doing it with a grand event in Valletta this Friday.
A specially-made film in honour of the vintage vehicles will screen in in Valletta at 8pm where it all started… Triton Square.
To say we’re excited is a massive understatement; can you imagine spotting yellow buses on Malta’s roads again, this time with a new and improved design on an electric bus?
Yes, the legendary icons of Maltese roads could soon be back in full force… but where did this all begin?
Funnily enough, it all started on April Fools’, as the cover story of Lovin Tomorrow, our definitely-not-real newspaper. But while the whole thing was 2019’s national prank-stunt for Lovin Malta, the reveal of the glorious concept buses absolutely wasn’t.
The traditional designs were reimagined, bringing them into the modern age, with digital tberfil and all, thanks to cutting-edge LED technology, allowing drivers to customise their own vehicles, just like they could in the good old days.
After nationwide public appreciation of the concept, Malta’s Transport Ministry endorsed the project, adding fuel to the firey hype.
“This is definitely an ambitious endeavour utilizing smart and sustainable technology that, if fulfilled, will contribute towards Malta’s meeting its European and International environmental obligations, improving air quality as well as making Malta a cleaner, healthier place live-in,” Transport Malta had said. “We fully support such an initiative.”
Transport Minister Ian Borg took it one step further, described the designs proposed by London-based Maltese architect Jonathan Mizzi as “stupendous” and “phenomenal”, and said he was looking forward to studying the proposal further.
“I think the design, with those colours, is more beautiful than the static fleet we have today,” he told Lovin Malta in an exclusive interview. “The proposal I’m seeing brings back nostalgia with a futuristic vehicle.”
Then, just over a week ago, Move dropped this little teaser on us.
In the video – which still includes some insane computer graphics and editing courtesy of Stargate Studios, -we’re treated to a very unfair cliffhanger. An old man between the shadows of Malta’s (new?) old buses.
Shortly after, Mizzi Studio was back with a short feature on the one, the only, Joey
The last tberfil artist on the island, Joey (who was in fact the shadowy figure in the previous teaser) takes us behind the scenes of what is one Malta’s rarest art forms – almost extinct, really.
We see Joey explaining why it’s necessary to mix petrol into the paint he uses, and the long-tipped brushes he uses to maintain that steady hand and line. And yes; we’re treated to a strong dose of nostalgia courtesy of an old bus straight from everyone’s childhoods.
So what’s next in line for the Malta Bus Reborn campaign?
If you want to find out about what Mizzi, Move and the Transport Ministry have in store for Malta, you’ll need to head to Triton Fountain this Friday at 8pm!