The Government will invest €5 million in maritime infrastructure to enable a direct fast ferry service for passengers between Mġarr and Valletta, it announced on Friday.
The investment comes alongside the permitting of shipping operators to operate services between the locations starting on 1st June.
The announcement is the result of a decision by the Government to liberalise the shipping market on the route.
Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri explained that this new route, taking less than 45 minutes, will offer more efficiency and comfort for Gozitan workers and students.
He also confirmed that “Gozitans who decide to start traveling by fast ferry between the two islands will be given the same refund that is given today when using the Gozo Channel.”
Minister for Transport Ian Borg commented that the Ministry for Transport looks at transport in a “holistic” manner and that therefore, “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”.
The Minister also revealed that the Government is working to launch a “public and international call for the service of the Public Service Obligation between the islands, which includes the transport of private vehicles and others.”
Explaining the process by which operators can offer this new service, he revealed that any provider interested in offering this service will be permitted to do so as long as it meets the criteria set by the Transport Authority.
This criteria includes a requirement that operators be able to complete the voyage in 45 minutes and the vessel’s compliance with “the necessary provisions to cater for persons with reduced mobility”.
The proposed landing points are as follows, courtesy of a port notice also issued on Friday.
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