The minibus service has finally started in Male’!

Minibuses were brought into the Maldives by MTCC in July 2022, and as of 5th September 2022 bus services have started in Male'.

Source: MTCC

Source: MTCC

The discussion surrounding introducing a proper form of public transportation in the Maldives has been an ongoing topic for years. In the big cities such as Addu, Fuvahmulah and Male’, getting from one place to the other can be an exhaustingly long walk and quite difficult for those who do not have access to a motor vehicle such as a bike or a car. 

This difficulty of transportation has an added layer when it comes to Male’ City as it is hardly walkable with narrow pavements and zebra crosses that have usually lost the bright yellow colour that is supposed to catch the attention of a driver. 

With all these hassles faced by thousands of citizens every day, it is quite shocking that the Maldives did not set up a proper form of public transportation earlier - at least has not sustainably continued. While the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) started the bus service that closed the gap between Male’ and Hulhumale’ in 2018, until this year there was no bus that travelled within the islands internally.

While there was an attempt 11 years ago by the City Council to set up similar bus service, it was a failed attempt as it only lasted for a year and was never heard of again. However, hopes are high this time around as many citizens have voiced out for the bus services to be started within islands as well as Male’ city.

One of the reasons why many, especially the youth of the nation, have started seeking proper public transportation in the Maldives is due to the increased motor vehicle import and traffic congestion in bigger cities of the Maldives. With purchasing of the latest car or motorbike having become trendy within the past few years, the fact that motor-vehicle usage has increased over the years can easily be spotted when one walks out onto the roads of the capital city Male’.

In comparison to how congested the city used to be just a few years back, it is shocking how much worse the numbers have gotten as pedestrians have been finding it harder and harder to continue walking each passing year.

In order to curb these issues, minibuses were brought into the Maldives by MTCC in July 2022, and as of 5th September 2022 the trial runs for the buses have started. The trial runs are being set up in order to finalise the best routes, and so far two different routes have been explored, with MTCC releasing an updated route on the 4th of September. 

The trial which is planned to go on for the first two weeks includes benefits for those who want to explore what travelling on the minibus would be as the transportation is completely free for the whole trial run. While this benefit only lasts for two weeks, the ticket price on the minibus is at MVR 7 for a trip compared to taxi prices which start at a whopping MVR 30.

In addition to the affordability, the running hours of the buses also give an advantage to those who work early morning shifts as well as those who finish their days late as the bus runs from 5:45 am till 12:15 pm. Including 40 stops between 12 buses, the bus also comes air-conditioned with seating for 20 people in each bus.

Moreover, for all customers above 65 years of age, kids under 3 years and differently-abled persons, the bus fare is waived upon showing their citizen ID or their NSPA card.

The tickets for the bus can be acquired both online and through QR ticketing, making it easier as one is not required to go to specific spots in order to get the bus ticket.

So for those of you who have been looking forward to taking the minibus for a short trip around Male’, happy travels!

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