The classic Malta buses live on through photos from travellers worldwide!
The 2nd of July 2011 was the last working day of the traditional Maltese buses. What looked like something that would never happen, “suddenly” materialized!
Birgit Daiminger shared these stunning pictures of a typical classic Maltese bus
The cheerful and unusual buses bowed their heads to new, more comfortable buses on the 3rd of July 2011, when Arriva took over the public transport system.
Many were shocked at how "fast" things happened. In reality, preparations for the major transition were under way years and months before.
"These buses should be kept for special occasions" - Brian Bassom
Still visitors to the islands could not believe that they could no longer board the much loved Malta buses!
This page is a tribute to the old, traditional Maltese buses that served the country well for over 100 years!
Catherine Ewens took this lovely photo when she was in Malta visiting family in July 2010
The classic Maltese buses now live on in books, posters, souveniers, stamps and all sorts of memorabilia which one can find on the Maltese Islands.
More importantly though, these beautiful buses will live on in the memory of those who were fortunate enough to see or use them!
Audrey Yassen told us that she was glad that she took these beautiful photos before the old buses were phased out!
Testament to the magnetism that these vintage buses had are the thousands of photos that visitors to the Maltese Islands used to take of these buses. These buses were definite attention grabbers and a sure conversation starter!
After all, not a lot of countries have such unique buses that anyone that sees them would want to take a picture of them!
Neil Halford very kindly shared his favourite Malta bus photos which he took on his many visits to the Maltese Islands
Join us as we affectionately look back at some of the things (good, bad or downright hilarious) that made these buses and everyone involved in the old Maltese public transport system (including some of the passengers) so unique! :)
Jeff Juhnke graciously shared many of his favourite Malta bus photos
Maltese Buses: A trip down memory lane
- the beautifully hand painted “welcome aboard” signs at the bus entrance.
- the stickers, statues, photos, rosary beads, a horn (or two, one can never be too careful with the evil eye), small curtains ... these were all part of the "furniture" in the driver’s cabin! And yes a statue of St. Mary right next to a mini poster of a famous topless model can co-exist ... they definitely did on Malta buses anyway!
- bus drivers can have pets too! Usually a bird in a tiny cage placed strategically somewhere in the driver's cabin, so the driver can hear the bird sing … whether the bird actually ever opened its mouth (or beak in this case) is an entirely different story!
- the untouchable jammed windows ... try to open these windows and you die (at least that's the message that one could see in some of the drivers' eyes if you made the slightest attempt at opening them!)
- the music … anything from the latest summer hits to the driver‘s favourite festa marches or football anthems.
- impromptu refueling stops or wait for it … a quick pastizzi stop where the driver suddenly stops the bus, jumps out of the cabin and disappears ... only to come back a couple of minutes later with half a dozen pastizzi! All this while the bus is still in service.
- the fascinating ability of some of the passengers to suddenly go deaf and ignore the driver completely when he yells “Full Up!” … this resulting in the driver yelling even more, this time round like a mere madman “I said FULL UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
- and perhaps the No. 1 shocker … in summer, some bus drivers used to drive their bus barefoot!
More beautiful photos of Maltese buses and adorable tiny bus models sent in by Jeff Juhnke
"I love Malta buses!" - Maria Nunn
Thank you dear old Maltese buses ... we shall miss your charm, quirkiness and bright vivid colours terribly!
A BIG THANK YOU also goes to Catherine, Maria, Audrey, Birgit, Brian, Jeff and Neil who very kindly shared their fantastic Malta buses photos that you see on this page!
For a sneak peek at the different colours that the traditional Maltese buses had over the years, check out these beautiful videos compiled by Johann Tonna.