In a few months’ time, Malta will face a huge public transport reform. The central bus terminus in Valletta together with its contents: vintage buses of all shapes, makes, and sizes will soon disappear into a distant memory.
The nervous centre of the Maltese transport system lies just outside the main city gate of Valletta. As you may or may not know, public transport in Malta consists solely of buses; trains, trams, or the tube, for various reasons, never really caught on.
This article is about the central bus terminus which, as a matter of fact, sounds like a really crappy location (I know) but of course, in typical Malta style, there’s a twist. The truth is, most Maltese buses are not new – far from it. They’re not air conditioned and they’re not accessible to the disabled. Why? Well, mostly because they’re 60 or so years old and some of them look like cadillacs for 40 people.
Buses in Malta for the most part are vintage. The retro look is really cool but their complete lack of eco-friendliness of course, is not. You can’t really blame them, these buses come from another era, an era when the ozone was unknown and pollution really didn’t mean much. The world, decade after decade, inevitably changed. These buses did not. Except of course, for their paint jobs and an odd part being replaced here and there.
These days, the buses are orange. Yes, each and every bus is painted yellowy orange with a reddish stripe. Back in the day, each route was colour coded so therefore the blue bus would go one way and the violet one would go another but that system died in the 60’s or 70’s and now, speaking of death, the current system is about to die again.
In five months, the bus terminus will disappear as will all the vintage buses. The transport system is finally facing a major overhaul and by July this year, routes, buses and the whole system as it is known today, will be scrapped in favour of a more professional, state of the art, environmentally friendly approach to public transportation.
Having said that, if you want to make the most of this Lomo Location before it disappears forever; if you want to catch these orange gems in natural light and lomo away, I suggest you get to Valletta fast because the clock is ticking and soon all of the above will be nothing but a part of history.