Your Easy Guide to Malta

Stunning stamps celebrate Malta’s vintage buses

50

They were boneshakers – but they were charming.

Malta’s famous vintage buses have been celebrated in a series of stunning MaltaPost stamps designed by artist Cedric Galea Pirotta.

The old buses were tourist attractions in themselves and provided millions of photo opportunities as they rattled around the island’s roads.

From the 1950s to the 1980s, each route was given a different colour, making it easier for passengers to find the right bus.

However, the vintage vehicles were taken out of service as part of a massive public transport revamp in 2011.

Around a dozen classic buses are still running, and take to the streets every day on private hire tours of the Maltese Islands.

Some couples even hire vintage buses for their weddings.

You’ll also see them ferrying tourists around Sliema, Rabat, Vittoriosa and Gozo.

Malta now has one of the most modern bus fleets in Europe thanks to serious investment by Malta Public Transport.

The bus operator runs frequent and regular services across Malta and Gozo, and carried a record 53.4 million passengers in 2018.

‘We are very proud to be carrying 14 million people more than we carried in our first year of operation,’ said Konrad Pulé, general manager of Malta Public Transport.

‘This constant growth in numbers is a clear sign that confidence in public transport is increasing. Our thanks goes to all our passengers, who are choosing to travel by bus instead of using a car.’

The routes carrying the most passengers in Malta are those serving holiday hotspots such as Sliema, St Julian’s, St Paul’s Bay and Mellieha as well as the Gozo Channel ferry terminal at Cirkewwa.

Now, let’s go back in time and take a look at a collection of stunning stamps, illustrating Malta’s classic buses.

Birkirkara


Valerie Maiden Sacco ‘Love the old buses. It was a must just to see the way the driver drove them, it was a experience we loved’

Zurrieq


Annette Marie Wallbank ‘Malta lost some of its charm when it lost the old buses’

Zebbug


Wendy Fortey ‘I loved these buses when I was in Malta many years ago’

Gudja


Ian Elphick ‘Used to use blue for Rabat buses and red for Birkirkara ones’

Siggiewi


Lana J Borg ‘Absolutely gorgeous. Wish we had them back again.’

Gozo post bus


John Mcbride ‘I lived in Malta in 1977 with the RAF. Loved these old buses.’

Kalafrana



Sadie Chandler
 ‘These buses were great wish they were still on the roads in Malta’

Rabat


Steve Marvin ‘My son collected miniatures of these for several years when we visited Malta, he has about 20 of them.’

Sliema


Jacquie Cheeseman ‘Loved the vintage buses when we were in Malta’

Lija


Nathalie Zammit ‘As a little girl I used to sit on our doorstep and I used to jot down all the buses numbers which used to pass.’

Birkirkara


Nathalie Zammit ‘Well done. It is a beauty and it reminds me of my childhood days since this was on my route in Balzan.’

Mellieha



Joseph Mallia
 ‘How strong they were! I’m sure the new buses could never be restored’ 

Read more: MaltaPost

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