Listen up people – it’s just been announced that on Saturday 17th December catching the bus will officially become a charitable deed for a day. An initiative called B’tal-linja għall-Istrina was launched just an hour ago by Her Excellency President Marie Louisa Coleiro Preca.
But more about that further down this list of reasons you should totally catch the bus that day (or any day)… anyway.
1. You can use it as an excuse to visit Valletta
Valletta’s Christmas atmosphere warms every true patriot’s heart at Christmas. The lights, the cheesy music, the scores of cafes where you can take a time-out from frantic shopping in. Love it.
2. Forget coffee, you’ve got some shopping to do
You know parking in Sliema is going to be a nightmare – don’t even waste time thinking twice about driving there. Hop on the bus and wear your smuggest face as you hop off without parking rage. Or if you’re in more of a rush – park in Pembroke and catch the bus to Sliema.
3. Leave the shopping to mum, explore Malta instead
Discover a place in Malta where you have never been – Christmas should be about spending time with yourself. Routes to remote areas of the island are often quiet – you can enjoy the scenery and start planning your New Year’s resolutions.
4. Spend more time with your family
Remember when you sent mum out to do all your shopping? Thank her by taking her on a day trip to Mdina, Dingli cliffs, Popeye Village, or the Blue Grotto. She’ll love reliving her childhood outings and not having to think about the thousand things she still needs to do before Christmas lunch.
5. Decrease national anxiety levels
Catch the bus, reduce vehicles on the road, reduce traffic, reduce stress – you’re a hero!
6. Catch up on your friendships
You haven’t replied to Sarah’s email from three weeks ago, and you know there’s an unanswered WhatsApp group you’ve muted somewhere along the line. As a bus passenger, you can safely chat on the phone to your heart’s content, and restore a few relationships that need some TLC to boot.
7. Save money!
It costs just 25 cents for holders of child and concession tallinja cards, 75 cents for adult and student tallinja card holders, and €1.50 if you pay for a ticket on the bus. Beats paying for fuel, carpark fare and/or a parking fine…
8. Did we mention it’s for L-Istrina?
Malta Public Transport will be donating the full ticket price paid by passengers for their first trip of the day when using their personalised tallinja card or when buying a cash ticket on the bus. So if you catch the bus on the 17th you can watch L-Istrina on boxing day without feeling like a chump for not having done more for charity this year.