Government-commissioned studies for a Malta metro will remain unpublished after the Transport Ministry turned down a Freedom of Information request for their publication.
On 5th August, Lovin Malta filed a FOI request for the studies into a potential metro system, which Transport Minister Ian Borg had said were complete last February.
The request was extended by 20 working days on 3rd September, during which time the government unveiled the metro designs, which were drafted by London-based engineering firm Arup.
However, Arup’s actual study has not yet been published.
Despite this fact, the Transport Ministry informed Lovin Malta earlier this week that its FOI request for the studies cannot be met because the information is already in the public domain.
Lovin Malta is challenging this decision.
The proposed metro will consist of three lines over 25 stations around Malta. Estimated to cost around €6.2 billion and take between fifteen to 20 years to build, the proposed first phase could be complete within five to eight years.
Transport Minister Ian Borg has waxed lyrical about the metro proposal, stating on the official Malta metro website that the government is ready to “make the nation’s dreams come true”.
“We can only build so many roads, so many superstructures above the ground on this small island of ours, so the future lies under the ground,” he said.
However, he also stated the government has yet to take a position in favour or against the proposed metro as it wants the public to hold a mature debate about it first.
The Opposition has said it is in favour of a metro but has urged the government to publish its studies in full.
Do you think the government should publish its metro studies?