The number of people making use of the buses increased by 1.5 million in the first six months of 2019, when compared to the same timeframe last year.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Transport Minister Dr Ian Borg stated that 26,500,868 passengers made use of public transport between January and June.
Dr Borg stated that he looks forward to working with all of those involved in order to continue on improving the service, so that fewer people will be using their own cars to commute.
His aims are now to make the bus service much more frequent as well as increasing the bus fleet in order to have more buses available for the increasing demand.
He also added that 30,000 passengers had access to free public transport.
In January, the government added an extension to the free public transport scheme, making all youths of ages between 14 to 20 as well as full-time students over the age of 21 eligible for the scheme.
This measure introduced in the 2019 Budget serves as an extension to the 2017 initiative that offered free public transport to all 18-year-olds, with the €250,000 investment resulting in more than 4,000 youths benefitting, with such youths making almost 600,000 trips.
In 2018, this measure was extended even further, with €2.2 million being invested as all youths aged from 16 to 20 benefitted from the scheme. This age group of 24,000 made more than 5.2 million trips by the end of 2018.
At the start of 2019, the government invested €3.3 million solely on public transport, with the aim of offering free public transport to everyone.
In May, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated that he wants “a situation where people get paid for using public transport. Rather than making cars more expensive, we could compensate people if they used public transport.” However, he also added that first the country needs to continue recording a surplus, as well as managing to give everyone free public transport.
Throughout 2018, buses carried 53.4 million passengers, setting in a new record for the number of passengers in a single year, with this increasing by 11.3% from 2017, when public transport carried 48 million passengers in a year.
August 2018 was also a record-breaking month, as it set a new record of 5.2 million passengers making use of public transport, which is an increase of 11% when compared to the previous August.