Planning for Bus Rapid Transit in an island context. The challenges of implementing BRT in Malta


Maria Attard

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus rapid transit, organisation - competition, infrastructure, ridership - growth


Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), public transport reform


In 2007 the Government of Malta commissioned a study into the feasibility of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to accelerate a modal shift from the ever increasing car ownership and use. The study concluded that the government's efforts to consolidate and improve public transport bus services could be well served by a BRT infrastructure over and above the existing bus network. Since then a public transport reform was implemented in 2011 ending a long held monopoly of bus owners which controlled and operated inadequately the network of services, and introducing competitive tendering. Following many years of decline bus passenger numbers are now growing due to the recent economic development, influx of foreign workers and increased tourism. This study investigates the implementation of a BRT in the main island of Malta by looking at key socio-demographic and infrastructural determinants. It also lists some of the barriers to implementation. The aim of the paper is to provide a preliminary assessment of BRT implementation in an island context and propose research in support of such infrastructures in islands facing similar transport-related challenges as in Malta.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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