Malta Buses

Malta Buses

The buses in Malta are really something else. The newest models date from the 1970s and all are traditional British makes, such as Leyland, AEC, Ford, Bedford, ..

Nowadays (2000) all are painted yellow with an orange stripe down the side. There is no destination film, just a route number shown behind the windscreen. All buses are privately owned and the cab interiors are usually decorated in some way or another - most have a religious picture or two, mostly a madonna, a cross or a sticker proclaiming "I Love Jesus". However, some have pictures of more down to earth subjects and boast: "I love sexy girls". Some have framed photographs showing off the bus and its proud owner.

Malta buses

Postcard showing the buses in their original colours

Postcards, posters and books about the buses of Malta are on sale everywhere on the island. Originally each route had its own livery. Later the island was divided into public transport zones and the buses of each zone were painted in a different colour scheme. At some point all buses were painted green. The reason they are now all yellow and orange is - at least according to a Scotsman (who had been visiting the island for the past fifteen years) we met while waiting for the bus in the blazing sun at Ta' Qali - that with a view to improving road safety the government decreed that green buses should be no older than five years. The proud Maltese bus owners' solution to that was simply to paint the buses yellow! After that the government gave up.

However, the official history of the buses of Malta can be found in the history section of the Public Transport Association's website.

Matla buses

Yellow and orange but still with old-style licence plate (postcard)

Malta Bus

Valetta July 2000

Malta Bus

Valetta Bus Station

Leyland

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