The planned tunnel between Malta and Gozo will include a free public transport service, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced today.
Addressing a political rally in Rabat, Gozo this morning, Muscat confirmed that this public transport will directly connect strategic links in Malta, such as the airport and Mater Dei, with Gozitan towns such as Rabat and Marsalforn.
“If public transport between Malta and Gozo is free, comfortable and accessible, it will encourage people not to travel with their personal cars,” he said.
In his speech, Muscat confirmed that the government is analysing a recent proposal by architect Konrad Xuereb for the Malta-Gozo tunnel to be part of an underground metro system.
However, he warned that such a project will only be feasible if Gozo’s population increases significantly.
Konrad Xuereb’s proposed metro system
“It’s a bit of a non-sequitur for sceptics of the tunnel to warn that it will lead to more cars in Gozo, because for a metro to be economically feasible, Gozo will need more people, and therefore more buildings,” he said. “Sometimes I fear that people submitting certain proposals, no matter their genuinity, just don’t understand the full implications of their proposals.”
While Muscat confirmed that a metro system remains on the government’s agenda, he warned that such a complex project will take at least 25 years to complete. He added that it must be a financially sustainable project that won’t require excess subsidies.
“If we end up pumping millions of euro into the metro a year, it will truly end up a white elephant,” he said. “We want it to be an economically feasible project that doesn’t burden taxpayers.”