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Malteses buses - Les bus traditionnels de Malte

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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:38

The traditional Maltese buses were well known abroad, loved by tourists for their character and nostalgic value. With the majority of the fleet classified as antique, tourists often marvelled at the fact that these vehicles were still in operating condition up until 2011.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:40

A large part of the Maltese population, however, had become increasingly frustrated with the heavy diesel fumes and slow bus service. Being one of the few modes of public transport in Malta currently, with a network of bus routes reaching most remote villages, many Maltese depend on the bus service on a daily basis.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:43

The old Malta buses were really something truly unique and one of the most recognisable icons of Malta. Mainly of British manufacture, with marques such as Bedford, AEC, Leyland and Ford, a large number of these buses date back from the 1970s and 1960s, with a few examples from the 1950s. Some were manufactured locally as well.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:44

Having been replaced with a modern fleet of buses by Arriva, then Malta Public Transport, the old Maltese buses have vanished from the streets of Malta and Gozo. If you’re lucky you can spot a few of them around the Sliema area, for tourist tours. Another couple of these old timers were exported to the UK, bought by collectors for restoration projects.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:45

The last of these old Maltese buses were yellow in colour with an orange horizontal stripe and their Gozitan counterparts grey coloured with a red horizontal stripe. The vast majority of the buses started and ended their trips at the main terminus in Valletta with a few operating on circular routes.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:47

Before buses were even visible on Malta roads, the main mode of transport was by Rail (with a single line stretching from Valletta to Rabat and Mdina on the Eastern side of Malta), cabs, and horse-driven lorries. Primitive buses began operating in 1905 and this had a negative effect on the Malta Railway as buses became more popular. In the early 1920s, bus manufacturing took centre stage on the Malta Island. In the late 1920s, buses operated on public transport roads and there was a lot of competition between operators.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:49

In 1930 the fleet of buses in Malta counted 385 licensed route buses, several of these owned by the bus drivers themselves. With a high number of operating buses, competition was so fierce that buses were often overloaded and speeding became a regular occurrence, with drivers trying to complete more trips. However, in 1931, the Traffic Control Board was formed bringing in great discipline and regulation in the bus industry. New routes were introduced, with a formalised trip schedule, making the service increasingly efficient and organised.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:50

With more regular and secure income, bus owners now began upgrading their buses to make them more attractive to the public. Since then, customization and decoration of Malta buses became a tradition. Buses were well maintained, kept clean and painted in various colours, depending on their designated route(s).
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:51

The 1970 reforms in Malta led to the centralization of bus operations with the formation of the Public Transport Association. The association had the mandate of day-to-day bus operation management.

In 2003, the government launched a scheme in which around 100 buses were scrapped and replaced by modern imported line buses from China. The government lowered the rates for bus tour services and traditional Malta buses were mainly in use. In December 2008, a major proposed streamlining of the ownership and operation of Malta buses was declared and a reform is expected in 2011, in which all of the antique buses will be replaced.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:55

In mid-2011, Arriva was introduced as the new public transport operator and introduced a modern fleet of buses with more environmentally friendly engines and easier to access for the less abled passenger. The intention was to take a big step up in terms of quality and efficiency of public transport in Malta while reducing emissions and encouraging the use of public transport to combat the ever increasing problem of traffic congestion on the Maltese roads.
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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:57

The transition was far from smooth. With numerous problems popping up ranging from the new routes to unwieldy bendy buses and to disgruntled bus drivers who saw their conditions worsened.
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A change in government in 2013 helped the transition from Arriva (who were unable to run the service profitably and were looking for an early exit) to being managed by Malta Public Transport. Since 2015, Malta Public Transport is run by Autobuses de Leon – a Spanish company – although the operator’s name was left unchanged.

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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:58

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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 20:59

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Message  Predicta car Mer 10 Jan - 21:01

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