Sustainable Multi-Intermodal Transport Hubs (SMITHS) Project ERDF.07.0091
The Sustainable Multi Intermodal Transport Hubs (SMITHS) Project aims to promote sustainable transport practices among the citizens. More specifically, the expected result of this project is a 1.5% shift from private car use to collective, sustainable, and alternative low- carbon transport modes.
SMITHS facilitates intermodality and addresses cleaner air through the introduction of various intermodal choices by upgrading the inner-harbour ferry network by introducing cycle and pedestrian paths, by introducing a new multimodal hub in Gozo including a park and ride facility operated by clean collective modes of transport and by further extending the national electric vehicle charging network across Malta and Gozo.
Moreover, current ITS systems shall be integrated into one platform to provide close to real time traffic and travel information which will be relayed through a number of real-time information tools. An Information Campaign is also underway to promote the SMITHS components and their advantages. The ultimate aim is generate a behavioural shift in transport practices.
Upgrading of existing ferry landing sites at Cospicua (Bormla), Valletta (Marsamxett) and Sliema (Ferries)
This component is managed by Infrastructure Malta. The aim is to maximise the potential of maritime transport as an alternative mode to road transportation; hence decreasing road congestion by shifting commuters onto maritime links.
The SMITHS project is developing and upgrading the marine infrastructure, superstructure and facilities for waterborne transport at existing ferry landing places at Cospicua (Bormla), Valletta, (Marsamxett), and Sliema (Ferries).
Cycling and Pedestrian Measures
This component implemented by Infrastructure Malta involved the construction of 3 cycle lanes along the road network from Attard along Rabat Road moving on to Mtarfa Junction and Mġarr Junction which leads onto Mosta and along the southern corridor of the road network from Sta Luċija and Żabbar onto Żejtun;
In addition, three pedestrian bridges were constructed in highly urbanised areas namely in Blata l-Bajda, along Triq il-Pent Dom Mintoff in Paola (MCAST Pedestrian Bridge) and Civil Aviation Avenue in Luqa which creates improved accessibility for public transport patrons, cyclists and the public in general.
Intelligent transport (ITS) infrastructure
This component is managed by Transport Malta. It includes the deployment of the ITMS Platform, which looks into bringing together various operational systems, aiming to decrease the level of congestion on the roads.
The ITS Platform shall connect several Intelligent Transport System (ITS) aimed at providing close to real time traffic data and travel information which will be relayed through a number of real-time data sets.
Low Carbon Transport (Charging Pillars)
This component is managed by Energy and Water Agency. The electric vehicle charging network is being extended through the deployment of a mix of fast and medium fast charging pillars to be made available to the general public, across Malta and Gozo.
260 charging points were funded by the SMITHS project, complementary to this, an additional 112 charging points are being installed to upgrade old pillars into modern pillars. The latter is being conducted through national funds.
Procurement and Delivery of Six (6) Electric Battery Powered Buses
This component is managed by the Ministry for Gozo. A fleet of 6 Electric Battery Powered Vehicles were procured. These are deployed to operate an on-demand Park and ride shuttle Service between Xewkija and Mgarr Passenger Terminal. Users would be required to reserve a seat beforehand. An online reservation system shall be set-up for this purpose.
This service provides an alternative and cleaner mode of transport for the last lag of the journey along the route from the park and ride to Mgarr Terminal in Gozo thus contributing towards reduced traffic congestion and lower emissions in the area.
Establishment of a multi-modal hub outside the limits of Xewkija
This component is managed by the Ministry for Gozo. A multi-modal hub is being constructed just outside the limits of Xewkija. Works involve removal of foreign dumped debris, reinstatement of an existing road with asphalt surfacing, shoring up of ground material with retaining structures, stabilizing ground with grass paver units, paving of pedestrian access, installation of carport canopies, construct storm water catchment facilities including a reservoir, hard/soft landscaping, and constructing one floor terminal building. Once operational this facility shall have a holding capacity of around 300 vehicles. It would contribute towards reducing traffic and parking congestion in and around Mgarr Harbour.
This component is managed by Transport Malta. The emergency corridor is the path that is instantly created by motorists when an emergency vehicle is approaching. It will create a corridor in congested roads to facilitate instant response doing away with unnecessary delay and hopefully saving lives.
All project partners involved may be viewed through this link.