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Welcome to The Pretty Walrus (read the Hello page for an explanation on the name). I am Clare, married to David, and mother to Emily and Adam. The Pretty Walrus follows our journey from the UK to Malta to Dubai, and all our adventures along the way. Enjoy your stay!

The Malta Bus

Yesterday was an important day in Maltese history. It was the day the traditional Maltese bus stepped down, replaced by its modern Arriva counterpart.

Loved and hated in equal parts, the orange buses - some of which dated back to the 1950s, if not earlier - were an integral part of Maltese roads (read into that as you wish). There would always be one close by, ready to hoot it's obnoxious horn at anyone who dared get in the way. Having one close by, however, did not necessarily mean that you were guaranteed a lift if you were waiting at a bus stop. Sometimes, drivers would simply choose to keep driving.

The buses were driver-owned, which - amongst other things - meant that they could decorate the vehicles according to their personal (usually, religious) preference. Song lyrics also often adorned their huge windscreens. "No woman, no cry" for whatever quizzical reason being a favourite.

They were also, however, dirt cheap. I remember a time when a basic ride cost 11c (26 EUR cents/24 GBP pence). Prices did increase since the last time I used a bus on the island (I'm not entirely sure when exactly that was!) but fares were never what you could call expensive.

The new Arriva system has been greeted with mixed reactions. Some resent the inevitable fare increase, others look forward to a somewhat efficient public transport system on the island - even if just to relieve the country of some congestion on its roads (in 2010, there were almost as many cars on the island as there are people), the bus drivers themselves are none too pleased to have their beloved buses taken away from them. Others just look on and mock.

While it's high time for an efficient service to be introduced to the island, it is sad to see the big orange hulks go. They were a tourist attraction in their own right - for many, a visit to Malta may never be the same again.


[Read: The Final Journey]

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5 comments:

  1. Classic are always known to be elegant expensive cars. You are lucky to have this rare model.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey! It's such an amazing blog I must say! So, full of colours!! I'm sure everyone would love it! If we talk about mothers, my sister who just recently got married, told me about a website where there are some most amazing applications for baby monitoring, baby names as well as food and weight etc. Seeing many mothers would be delighted to see them, I so wanted to share it. So here you go: http://www.mobilemediacity.com/portfolio
    Do check it out! :) I'm sure you'd love it!
    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We loved them. I think it's really sad these buses won't be there for others to share. :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. They were very bad for the environment unfortunately. And the entire system needed updating badly, to be fair x

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  5. This is horror.
    Malta will never be the same for me.
    Prices are also discriminating visitors.
    Its really sad.

    ReplyDelete

Penny for your thoughts, my dear...

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