Press release by MTIP and the Parliamentary Secretariat for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing: Bus 75+ towards free public transport to persons aged 75 and over launched – more than 19,000 persons expected to benefit

Reference Number: PR200013en, Press Release Issue Date: Jan 06, 2020
 
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing Anthony Agius Decelis visited Centrecom offices in Mosta on the launch of another free public transport initiative that puts the elderly on the forefront of the government’s agenda. Officials from Centrecom, Transport Malta and Malta Public Transport were present during this visit.

Minister Borg explained how public transport, particularly buses, has become a very important means of transport for the country. He made reference to the figures of 2019, which estimate that more than 57.5 million passengers have made use of this means of transport throughout the year. “The numbers keep on increasing. The new estimates are showing us that there is an increase of more than 7%, or more than four million passengers, from 2018, and a 69% increase in the use of this service when one compares it with usage in 2012. Today, we are here to announce the new initiative Bus 75+, which will be offering free public transport to another segment of our population, those aged 75 and over, and the numbers are showing us that there may be more than 19,000 that are set to benefit from this measure,” explained Minister Borg.

He made reference to how, despite those who had doubted the promise of a free public transport system, this government has once again shown that it implements what it promises. “Today, we are witnessing that, with an investment of about €3.4 million, more than 39,000 youths and full time-students have benefitted from more than eight million free trips under the Bus 20+ Measure during the last year. We are witnessing work by the government that led to the free public transport measure for persons with disability, which has been implemented since December 2019. All of this makes part of a comprehensive plan by a government that puts our families, our youths, and the vulnerable on the forefront of its priorities, a government that works on a social level,” said Minister Ian Borg.

He concluded by referring to the government’s vision in the transport sector as being one that includes a change in the culture of how one travels and that, whilst the government continues to invest considerably to make the country’s roads safer and more efficient, it will keep on working to ensure that alternative means of transport, including the bus service, are efficient and reliable. 

From his end, Parliamentary Secretary for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing Anthony Agius Decelis said that the initiative of free public transport for persons aged 75 and over is an important step in a policy that fosters active ageing, as it will increase social mobility and reduce social exclusion. Parliamentary Secretary Agius Decelis said that the government wants that the elderly to remain an integral part of our society, and thus, thanks to such initiatives, it is giving the necessary support to enable them to remain active.

He said that it is proven that public transport is one of the principal means of transport used by the elderly, and therefore this step will continue enabling them to be active in society. The Parliamentary Secretary said that this initiative was the next step in ensuring that this means of transport becomes more accessible, and free public transport for the elderly will ensure that no one is left out. Parliamentary Secretary Agius Decelis commended Minister Borg for another electoral promise that has been actioned, and that, once again, has proven that this government is one united team that works together.

For more information on the different measures of free public transport, one can call on 2248 3500, from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

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