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Valletta-Gozo fast ferry service kicks off today
The fast ferry service between Valletta and Mġarr in Gozo has kicked off their operations today, with two competing companies offering a 45-minute trip for foot passengers eager to travel between the two islands.
Transport Malta issued an invitation for operators wishing to provide a fast ferry service earlier this year and both Gozo Fast Ferry Ltd and Virtu Ferries Ltd stepped in to offer their scheduled services.
The service was formally inaugurated today by the Prime Minister Robert Abela, as well as Gozo minister Clint Camilleri and Infrastructure minister Ian Borg, in the presence of two catamarans that will be used on the route. The first trip will be made later today, at 4pm.
The operators will be making use of two fast ferry terminals, which were constructed over the last few weeks. They are located in the Grand Harbour in Valletta and Mġarr Harbour in Gozo. The Prime Minister said that government believed in providing the opportunity for the private sector to flourish on a level playing field.
He added that the service linking Mġarr directly to the capital city of Valletta, where multiple connectivity options existed with public transport, would reduce emissions and also give Gozitans more time to enjoy with their families.
“This new service is a key work-life balance measure which will also reduce travel time, traffic and hazardous emissions,” said Abela.
What about the prices?
In terms of the Gozo Fast Ferry, those who live in Gozo can travel to Valletta and back for €4.50. Those in possession of a Tallinja adult or student card can make the return trip for €7.99.
Kids who have a Tallinja card, senior citizens and holders of EU Disability cards, can make a return trip for €3.99.
Children under the age of four can travel for free.
Anyone who does not have a Tallinja card can book online through www.gozofastferry.com or download the app.
When purchasing trips online, tickets are €9.99 for adults, €5.99 for children and €4.50 for Gozitan residents.
If you forget to buy your ticket beforehand and buy one directly at the terminal, it will cost adults €12 per ticket and €6 for children.
In terms of their competitor, Virtu Ferries Gozo, on the other hand, the standard cost of a return ticket is €12 for adults and €6 for children. If in possession of a Tallinja card, tickets cost €11 for adults and €5.50 for children.
For those living in Gozo, the tickets are €5 for adults, €3 for children and if they have Tallinja cards, €4.60 for adults and €2.70 for kids.
Have bus services also been launched?
Yes! According to Ian Borg, apart from the new sea service, the government has also launched brand new bus services to complement the ferries.
Route 300 will depart from Lascaris/Ta’ Liesse bus stop for 10 minutes after the ferry arrives and links to bus stops close to University of Malta, Mater Dei Hospital and Junior College.
Route X133 will offer fast ferry passengers with a free shuttle service to and from the Valletta bus terminal.