Ticketing system to change as smaller boats pick up passengers
Gozo Channel is to change its ticketing system in an effort to prevent smaller private boats picking up passengers in Mġarr, Gozo, and taking them back to Malta so that such passengers do not pay Gozo Channel for their journey from Malta to Gozo.
Both tourists and residents have been seen arriving in Gozo on Gozo Channel’s ferries but not using them for the return journey, with the smaller boats charging a cheaper, one- way fare to bring them back to Malta.
Consequently, these people are then not paying Gozo Channel for the journey since tickets for the journey in both directions are always purchased when leaving Mġarr, Gozo.
Gozo Channel chairman Joseph Cordina told The Malta Independent on Sunday that the company is aware of the problem. He explained that it has been going on for several years and increases substantially during the summer months, with groups of small boats docking near the Mġarr terminal in Gozo and picking up passengers returning to Malta.
When asked what had been done to tackle the situation, Cordina said that when Gozo Channel contacted Transport Malta, they had been told that, quite simply, there was not much they could do to control and patrol every single boat that came into the port to check if they were bringing over passengers who had arrived with the Gozo Channel ferry.
Cordina spoke about the ticketing system, which he referred to as “unbelievable” since the terminal in Cirkewwa had not been built to have a ticketing system: “It is unbelievable how it was built because there is no way to implement a ticketing system at the moment.”
He also said that Gozo Channel will issue a tender in order to make some alterations to the terminal to accommodate a ticketing system. What changes will be made to the ticketing system is still under consultation.