Connectivity between Malta and Gozo has always been a subject of significance and the latest fast ferry initiative might be one that will change tack in terms of local sustainable sea transport. As the days become numbered, anticipation grows larger. The fast ferry service will be launched on the 1st of June. TheJournal.mt delved deeper into this new service and summed up five facts and benefits that will be offered.
- Travelling in less than 45 minutes
Deemed as a game changer, the fast ferry will provide a different way of travelling to Gozo. The journey, taking less than 45 minutes, between Mġarr and Valletta and vice-versa will offer more efficiency and comfort for Gozitan workers and students. Furthermore, those residing in the Southern part of Malta will benefit from more time as they won’t have to travel all the way to Ċirkewwa.
- Killing time for students
Another plus for students is that upon arriving at the final destination in Valletta, a direct public transport bus to University and Mater Dei will be provided which will, in comparison to the past, drastically cut their overall travelling time and in return benefit from additional spare time.
- Two Confirmed Service Operators
By now, two operators; Gozo Fast Ferry Ltd. And Virtu Ferries Gozo have been confirmed for providing this new service. These operators have met the requirements set by the Transport Authority in their Port Notice, one which contains the necessary criteria to be met by shipping operators, both local and international, in order to start operating this route from 1st June 2021.
- Exemptions from Excise Duty
Excise Duty is a National tax, imposed by the Excise Duty Act – Chapter 382 of the Laws of Malta, on certain goods and commodities which are consumed or made use of, as in the case of a service, in Malta. In addition, the Government will be ensuring that all operators who meet the Port Notice criteria will be able to benefit from exemptions from excise duty.
Gozitan workers and students will be given the same refund that is given today when using the Gozo Channel. Furthermore, passengers of any operator who meets the criteria listed in the port notice will be able to benefit from the use of the Barrakka lift free of charge as well.