If Gozo is to be connected to Malta by a permanent link, this should be part of an extended nationwide metro system, the Gozo Tourism Association said on Friday.
The association referred to the government’s proposal of a three-line underground metro system with 25 stations around Malta and said it is surprised that this mass transportation system proposal does not extend its connectivity to Gozo.
It asked why the under-seabed tunnel between the two islands, which was still on the government’s agenda, is not being linked with the metro system being proposed.
The government has said that Gozo’s population must rise by a further 50,000 people for a metro line to the island to be financially feasible.
But the GTA argues that this reasoning does not hold water, as Gozo’s population is inflated by domestic and foreign visitors.
It noted that in 2019 – the year before the COVID-19 pandemic – Gozo hosted 215,272 domestic visitors and 180,978 foreign visitors for at least one night, with a further 1.5 million foreign tourists visiting the island for the day.
NSO statistics also showed that, in 2020, the number of Gozitan residents who work in Malta reached 3,284 and in 2019, 1,654 Gozitan students were following their tertiary education in Malta.
Were these numbers taken into consideration when this metro study was being carried out, it asked.
It called on the government to reconsider its position on the proposed tunnel for vehicles, between Malta and Gozo integrating it with the proposed metro system on the mainland instead.
“Gozo does not need a tunnel for vehicles, but Gozo deserves to be connected with Malta in the right way,” the association said.
The association’s statement follows another a few days ago by the Association for Gozitan Employees working in Malta which argued that the proposed plans for the underground metro system discriminate against Gozitans, especially those who commute to Malta daily for work.
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