Do we all remember those aquamarine buses and the disaster they’ve become synonymous with? We’d better do, because the PN is planning to serve an even colder dinner that we will all have to eat no matter what.
MP Ryan Callus, under pressure from legitimate questions, shared some of the missing links related to the PN’s trackless tram proposal.
For those who are not familiar with this proposal, the PN is proposing to re-introduce bendy buses that will be able to carry between 300 to 500 commuters at one go. Implying vehicles ranging between 3 to 5 carriages reaching a maximum length of 50 meters. Yes right, 50 meter bendy buses on Malta’s roads!
Experts in the field were already predicting a traffic calamity even when it seemed that the PN intended to widen most roads to accommodate this. However it is now confirmed, the buses will take up existing road space for exclusive use, reducing most arterial roads from two to one lane.
What does this mean? Misery. There is simply no other way to put it.
Does the PN understand the kinds of traffic that such decisions will cause? Have they put a few numbers in a traffic simulation software? And maybe we’re pushing it a bit now, did they investigate whether current junctions can accommodate the wide turning circles required by the biggest road-vehicles in circulation on an international scale?
Probably they didn’t. And if they did and still had the audacity to propose this, then they must be mad!
Let’s take one major thoroughfare as an example, the famous Santa Venera tunnel on Regional Road, an arterial junction with two lanes on each carriage way. The PN’s proposal would mean having one lane on each side exclusively reserved for the new epic bendy bus service reducing the current four lanes to two. Do we need to run it through software to understand what this implies? Not so much, look at the outcome of the unfortunate accident in the same junction a few days ago with a closure of a few hours of 2 lanes (like the PN proposal), we had car to car traffic jams up to the Southernmost parts of the island.
And what about the direct capital cost that would have to be forked out for such a system to operate? They are saying it is cheaper than a metro system and that it comes at a price of around three billion Euro. Now, calculators in hand please. They promised to implement this system in five years, so, at least two will inevitably go for permitting a procurement, leaving them with just three years to deliver with an estimated 1 billion capital outlay per year.
Where is that kind of intensive financing going to come from? From Bernard’s arithmetics and his magic 1 billion 10 new sectors economic model?
We don’t think so, and we’d better be careful, because the fact that in the last years they’ve managed to destroy their party is a known fact, and it appears that if trusted our dear country is next.