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Prime Minister Robert Abela speaks at the inauguration of the fast ferry service, Source: Robert Abela on Facebook

Malta - Gozo fast ferry service kicks off

Malta - Gozo fast ferry service kicks off

Gozitans working in Malta will save two hours of commuting every day

The new fast ferry service between Malta and Gozo kicked off yesterday with the top echelon of the government present at the inauguration ceremony. Running between Valletta’s Grand Harbour and the Mġarr Port in Gozo, the service will use state-funded facilities in Ta’Liesse area worth EUR 5 million. 

Time-saving, clean and efficient 

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Robert Abela said the decision to set up the new service testifies to the principles that the government is guided by. “We believe in a country where the state provides equal opportunities for the private sector to dream and compete. This with the aim of creating new services for citizens which then generate new jobs and help the economy grow”, Abela said, quoted by the Malta Independent.  

Abela went on to say that the fast ferry service will improve the quality of life for Gozitans working in Valletta who will now save two hours of travel a day – tantamount to 500 hours a year, which is double the amount a person is entitled to in terms of annual leave. The new services will impact positively Malta’s maritime infrastructure as well, which should be developed for the future in spite of the pandemic burden, he added.  

Transport Minister Ian Borg said on his part that the high speed ferry demonstrates the government’s commitment towards “cleaner and more efficient” mobility options. Apart from Gozitan workers who commute to Malta everyday for work, he said Gozitan students will benefit from the new service, too, as new public transport routes will connect the fast ferry terminal with the University of Malta.  

Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri praised the new service, acknowledging that it will help remove some of the weight of commuting between Malta and Gozo. He stressed that Gozo will remain Gozo as long as Gozitans can live there, which is why accessibility is indispensable for the smaller island. Camilleri said that the improved connectivity will bring more tourists, especially those staying overnight, to the island, and thus help tourism-linked Gozitan businesses keep their head above water. 

Government commitment meets private sector willingness   

The Gozo Business Chamber welcomed the launch of the fast ferry service, saying that it can herald the opening of new economic niches especially in the cruise liner sector, while benefiting commuters and Maltese travellers alike.

"The government's decision to liberalise the market was essential for this service to being implemented. The price sensitive and consultative approach adopted by both operators also augurs well for the success of this venture. All this shows that Government's commitment, coupled with the private sector's willingness to invest can create a positive approach while finding solutions from which all can benefit,” the Chamber said in a statement.

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