Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia reported that bus passengers have increased by 15% ever since public transport was made free this October 2022.
The Minister was comparing the differences between September and October of this year to see whether the introduction of free Tallinja would create an impact.
Despite already seeing a slight increase, Farrugia acknowledged that public transport is still carrying fewer people than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. The arrival of the virus saw historic lows for number of bus commuters.
According to statistics provided by Farrugia himself on Friday, there were 24% fewer people using public transport in September 2022 when compared to the same month of last year.
Farrugia said that the 9% fewer passengers during October of this year is already a positive step. Passengers must have a valid Tallinja bus card to travel for free, otherwise they would need to purchase a valid ticket.
This comes as Farrugia announces that 25 new electric buses would be added to the current fleet to increase routes and make public transport environmentally friendlier and reduce carbon footprint.