Community Bus Background


The Malta bus was also sometimes called "xarabank" or "karozza tal-linja".

Malta buses used to be a major tourist attraction on the island due to their unique appearance and this uniqueness stemmed from the tradition of local ownership of the buses by the drivers, and their historic practice of customising them. In addition to a high degree of customisation, detailing and decoration, several Malta buses also had a unique appearance due to the practice of in-house maintenance, rebuilding or modifying of bus bodies in local workshops.

In July 2011 the Malta buses were replaced by modern vehicles.

Malta buses were characterised by their high level of customisation and detailing. Common additions to former route buses included:

  • Increased use of chrome parts / high polishing of chrome parts, such as hubcaps and grilles
  • Paint detailing, both generally, and of parts such as indicators and filler caps
  • Custom passenger messages, both in the interior and exterior of the bus
  • Names relating to the village patron saint, monarchs, or other notable objects.
  • Trimmings and hangings, especially inside the front window
  • Slogans, murals, quotations and lucky images (such as the horseshoe)

Due to the nature of operation of Malta buses, many of the drivers were also mechanics, and a high number of Malta buses proudly displayed the name of the manufacturer of the chassis or body of the bus, or the engine type used. In some instances though, these names are not actually the name of the bus in question.

Ref :

Chassis : Bedford SBG (1955)
Body : Aquilina (1966)
Our vlog 
Takes you with us on the journey
from the state of the vehicle as in
early 2017 onwards.