Nationalisation of the public transport service
Malta’s experience with public transport soured when a momentous decision was taken to liberalise a bus network that was run by a cooperative of bus owner-drivers and uncouth employees. Millions were spent to get rid of over 500 creaky bangers that ran the routes, some as early as the 1960s, for a fleet of cleaner Euro-V engines. The idea was to revise the bus routes and lower operational costs, and by extension, state subsidies. But in a bid to make the new routes profitable, less buses, the addition of the maligned bendy-bus and longer routes were devised to pick up more passengers.
The Arriva disaster was taxing on the nation: a 40c trip had now become a €1.50 trip that took ages to arrive at its destination, prompting the prime minister to create a task force