MASS RAPID TRANSIT PROPOSALS
The following are an objective compilation of previous proposals, carried out by the authors as part of the background research for the Maltarail proposal, which is described in detail in The Monorail Proposal
HALCROW GROUP LTD
Halcrow Group Ltd was commissioned to produce two studies for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) (Halcrow Group, 2007) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) (Halcrow Group, 2008) infrastructures. Halcrow have recommended the introduction of two new tram routes – one between Valletta and St Julian's and the other between Ta' Qali and Valletta via Birkirkara. A total of 14 trams would operate on both routes – with the first trip starting at 06:00 and the last at midnight. The Ta' Qali-Valletta route has been calculated to last as little as 21 minutes per trip, while the Sliema one, 15 minutes (2008). The then Transport Minister, Austin Gatt, while interviewed for a local newspaper article (Darmanin, 2008), seemed to back the introduction of new rules to give priority to public transport, thus dis-incentivising car usage. However he still seems to be quite sceptical on the introduction of a tram.
Proposed route for Light Rail System by Halcrow Group (Halcrow, 2007)
“Let’s not hurry on this idea,” he stated. A tram system would require an initial capital of anywhere between €205,000,000 and €325,000,000. It will take an estimation of €7.2 million per annum to run, as electricity and maintenance overheads are expected to be hefty. Ultimately, this means that trams would have to commute some 5,000 passengers a day for the operation to be feasible. Not impossible, but we first need to look into the fare cost. "
- Austin Gatt
"The consultants [Halcrow Group Ltd] are also pushing for a radical reform in bus service, with a new and smaller fleet of different-sized vehicles – all owned by a single company. Valletta would cease operating as a hub where almost every bus route ends"
- Halcrow Group, 2007
Length: 76 km long
Route: Two main lines
Total Cost: Ca. €1.42 billion
Cost/Km: €18.68 million
Construction time: eight years.
Estimated start date: Mid- 2017
Typology: Above and below ground
Stations: key traffic junctions
A monorail project, "involving over-ground and underground lines running North-South and West-East", will intersect at key traffic junctions and feed into other above-ground public transport means at various stops. Malta claims that the mono-rail will be the “ultimate solution” for urban mobility.
(source: SPECIAL TASK FORCE (Member States, Commission, EIB) ON INVESTMENT IN THE EU)
No official statements have been made by the ministry or Transport Malta concerning the project.
The project is being spearheaded by Transport Malta, as regulator and operator, while the cost estimate was provided by a "Maltese task force, led by financial services expert Alfred Mifsud."
Technical Studies, execution plans and regulatory/environmental approvals and detailed financial feasibility studies could be completed within a maximum of 18/24 months so that the project will become shovel-ready in the second half of 2016 or early 2017 if financing is in place.
In a Memorandum of Understanding signed last July, State company China Overseas Engineering Group Co Ltd (Covec) committed itself to draw up, within two years, a preliminary feasibility study for the engineering, procurement, construction and financing of a monorail system for Malta.
Route: Four stations, each having large parking facilities.
Length: 8.57Km (as shown below)
Cost: €300 million
Cost/Km: ca. €35 million
8.3% using existing tunnels
Stations: Large underground carparks
Anglu Xuereb is a Maltese developer and entrepreneur who first proposed a monorail in 1991 . His proposal includes an EU funded underground electric monorail system that would initially be built in the inner and outer harbour areas with the possibility of being expanded.
It would have four interchange stations along a circular route that could be located close to the entrance of Palumbo (former Drydocks’ entrance), the Marsa industrial estates, Mater Dei Hospital and at the Valletta bus terminus.
The 24-hour service would be backed by a network of small buses that would drop off and pick up people from nearby towns and villages.
Anglu Xuereb's Proposal
Length: ca. 155Km (as shown below)
Stations: located beneath town centres, some will contain parking.
In March 2014, Mr Joseph Grech, an ex-surveyor, presented a master plan originally conceived in 1984 in a televised interview . Documents are shown in the footage, however no information could be found further to the video.
Emphasis is made on the inter-modal aspect of the master plan, consisting in an extensive subway with access from every major town square. Locally administered road-based public transport would support the rail infrastructure, transporting commuters to and from the stations. Some of the more central stations would contain adequately sized parking areas .
The Operational Feasibility of a Possible Metro-Rail Mass-Transit System for the Maltese Islands
2011 MBA Thesis, University of Malta
Accessed by the authors from UoM Library
"This would mean that the public would be able to travel from Gozo to the heart of Malta in less than 15 minutes"
Typology: Mostly underground, with overground routes running where the water table does not permit underground tunnels.
Stations: located in urban areas, they will be equipped with retail outlets or similar public amenities that can help in the Urban-regeneration, providing employment opportunities.
via Mr. Buttigieg's Facebook page
J. Galea: Tube Map of Malta
Tube Map of Malta