lundi, août 21, 2006

First Transport of Sudden Politics

Gybexi left a comment in my "Wake up and smell the Budget Airlines" post. He seems to think that I take transport. more particularly air transport, so seriously that I should be doing something about it. I agree. But then again do what? At 1.57 in the morning I decided to suggest something and see what you guys think.

What if we were to draft an action plan for Maltese transport, centered around the needs of the Maltese citizen? We could then offer it to the political parties for adoption. All of them. The citizen's view. No guarantees for any amount of consideration by the parties of course but it is worth a try. So I am welcoming suggestions for measures to improve public transport. You can include considerations about what we understand to be QUALITY transport. Everything goes... it's a think-thank operation.

I suggest you label your comments to three main areas and a bonus area:

1. Air Transport
Getting in and out of the islands. Commuting between the islands.

2. Land Transport
Buses, taxis, private vehicles, road congestion, parkings, bicycles and pedestrian zones.

3. Sea Transport
Inter-island. Improving point-to-point sea transport in Malta e.g. the Sliema-Valletta ferry.

4. Wild Ideas
A tunnel between Malta and Gozo? A tunnel under the harbour? Limiting engine size for private vehicles? Forced car-pooling?

Go ahead guys. The arena is yours. If it gets going we can open a forum on one of those forum thingys.

B'tal-linja jaqbillek!

13 commentaires:

Max a dit…

Land Transport:

Buses: Have a network with multiple nodes and abolish the Valletta central node scheme.

Have smaller busses which run [much] more often

Have a mix of shuttle busses and busses which stop on every stage.

Wild ideas:
Get most of the bus drivers through primary school eduaction


I am sure I'll get more but it is 09:16 on a monday morning...

gybexi a dit…

i'm covering 2 and 3 in my 'dossier'. i'm not, however, covering things that have anything to do with cars. I don't own a car, never did, and think there are too many as it stands. I'm not anti-car per se buy - it's just that i know fuck all about parking, mtorways, etc.

well - i can tell you what i'm working on. i'm working on concrete proposals for the current bus system (including detailed info such as how bus stops should be designed and the implimentation of gps 'next stop' displays, etc), the implimentation of an integrated transport systems including maritime commuter transport and, also, the feasability of an underground tram system [my plan also considers alternatives such as an underground funicular (used in haifa, israel) or trams-on-wheels (caen, france). I based my 'report' on the premise that cities the size of malta or smaller - Lausanne, Palma de Mallorca and approx 30 others have scsfly implimented an undeground light-rail system or full metro so why haven't we even started DISCUSSING it yet?

The site won't be ready before Dec 06.

Max a dit…

Some more,

but before a short disclaimer:

I am a layman and an amature compared to gybexi who seems to have thoroughly researched the matter and professionally working on providing solutions.

Here are my next 2 cents:

Island links:

Do not improve them.

Gozo should stay of relatively remote access. If our beautiful sister island gets any closer in commuting terms, then the risks of seeing it getting massively developed [and ruined] will fly sky high. We cannot afford this.
So no:
Underground tunnels
Long bridges
Air links
Linking the 2 islands, please!
Probably more as the day goes by...

Andre a dit…

There's so much to say! But I'll keep it brief...

air transport; obviously more affordable air services, convenient flight times should remain a priority. probably it's not the best time to suggest this; but why not have a regular trans-atlantic connection?

land transport; more direct links, on some routes bus services after 9pm would be much appreciated. How can you expect people to use the bus when the service is this bad?
taxi prices should be monitored.

promote car pooling.

Wild ideas; limit number of cars per family?

There's more to say really... maybe one day I'll blog about it.

Justin Borg Barthet a dit…

Land Transport (public)

(i) Bus time-tables at all bus stops
(ii) Buses running approximately according to published timetable
(iii) What Max and Gybexi said about public transport.
(iv) Licensing procedure for taxi-drivers that requires training and monitoring. (Aside: why do they all have to spend a fortune on a Mercedes?)

Land Transport (private)

(a)Preferential parking for car-sharers
(b) Limitation of parking spaces (provided public transport is improved)

Air Transport

(1) Low cost airlines
(2) Low cost airlines

zetetiq a dit…

Re-test all drivers who got their license 5 or more yearsa ago (or before the new system started)

re andre's limited cars per family:
it would be better to limit the number of cars per person. If i'm in a fmaily of five and bought my own car, it does not have anything to do with if my brothers own a car or not. We just live in the same house.

Transport between Malta and Gozo is ok, helicopters re also used for emergencies (eg from Gozo hospital to Pieta), depending on the weather.

Re buses:
Certain routes need to revise schedule, bus from ugibba to university only starts after 9am, so a lecture at 8am is impossible unless you wake up at 6am (simple example).

Bus drivers could also maybe have an English proficiency course or similar, seeing that they are in the tourist industry most of the time.

Kenneth a dit…

Just to let you know, from what I had head, apparently the Cottonera-Valletta link by sea is being seriously taken into consideration by the authorities at the moment.

Kenneth a dit…

Re-test all drivers who got their license 5 or more years ago (or before the new system started)

This is the best suggestion of them all because there must be a major overhaul of the public perception of transportation, and that should start from the very basic level: drivers of private cars. Somehow, some discipline must be instilled into drivers to set them apart from driving practices I'm not even sure are present in third world countries.

I'm not pretending them to do all the silly routines expected in the new tests, but there are some things which they must know, and they should have known ages ago before they sat behind a steering wheel.

Knowing what road signs represent is one of these things. Case in point, when half of the SPB bypass was closed and the former uni-directional two-lane side in the direction of Burmarrad was made bi-directional (pending maintenance work to be completed on the other side, i.e. it will remain this way for a good two years, at the very minimum), there were 3 horrific accidents on the very first day.

All because we have morons who do not understand these two signs: 1 2, as well as speed limit signs at 45 km/h (45 km/h in a bypass where 80 km/h is the limit... hello! Maybe something's changed?) ...and because they simply never watch out for road signs.

Knowing that they have to turn on the bloody indicator before switching lanes or taking any exit from the main road would also be ideal. *cue Marsa*

Of course, all this also applies to bus drivers.

Having wardens fine those who a) drive slowly on the fast lane and b) drive in the middle of the road in a two-lane road, would be great to start with.

Max a dit…

This has take off. Well done and thanks Jacques!

Most of the ideas are are some more:

Land transport:

Cheaper taxi rates which balance off well with the average Maltese income. ...was in Dublin some years ago and there many people took a taxi to commute in the evenings as it was not expensive. In Malta this would potentially result in less drinking and driving accident related problems, less traffic congestions and pollution around the night-life hubs, less unlucky residents seeing their roads invaded every week-end evening by cars trying their luck to find the only parking spot left free in town, etc...

In parallel with re-testing drivers idea, an intensive campain to civilise drivers to driving etiquette 'li tolqot fil-laham il-haj'

Village centres and narrow shopping roads turned into pedestrian areas [e.g. Rabat, Malta]

Banning horse [or other animals] carriages from arteries

A system of walking / jogging / cycling paths

Air Travel

[a bit of a] wild idea:

Turn Malta International Airport into a north south [and east west] hub.

This would have the following +ve consequences:
Better connections and selection for the maltese traveller
job creations
better use of the airport infrastructure
economic wealth

And the following -ve consequences:
Pollution [noise, fuel] and problems related to it e.g.
Neighbourhood lobbying against airport, half [or more] of malta's window panes constantly shaking from taking off / or landing aircraft ...

Jacques, will you eventually organise this well-full-of-ideas into some sort of easy to read report? ;-)

Kenneth a dit…

How about a wiki? Might be useful to find out what site gybexi is working on though.

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

Kenneth. Can you set up a wiki? Something like maltamatrix as a title. It will be useful to collect all these ideas then I promise to compile a report.

Obviously this is not intended to replace or rival gybexi's project!

Kenneth a dit…

I'll see what I can do, even though I'm extremely busy these 2 weeks.

Obviously this is not intended to replace or rival gybexi's project!

Obviously, but it would be worth seeing whether we could share the same platform.

Kenneth a dit…

Still interested about this? Drop me an e-mail on KennethsBlog ghand gmail tikka com