€3 contribution per parking permit; money to go to new Green Fund

University parking permits for the upcoming scholastic year will be issued at a one-time cost of €3, KSU announced on Monday, as part of an all new ‘Green Fund’.

Speaking on the first day of the annual Freshers’ Week, KSU announced this fee, which is a “Green Contribution” and which will go towards the setting up of a Green Fund which will be open to all students to benefit from.

The fund will be aimed at environmental initiatives and making alternative modes of transport more accessible to all students. Therefore the fund will ultimately be working to alleviate the mobility and parking situation on Campus by encouraging more students to take up alternative means of transport, the student union said.

KSU President Carla Galea described the green fund as a way to start dealing with the problem of parking at university and to provide the infrastructure and support needed to encourage more students to take up alternative means of transport.

She also confirmed that the fund could be used by other students for environmental projects as well.

KSU said that it had always been its policy to promote student awareness on the most pressing issues and it is not KSU’s intention to burden students with this payment. Apart from the generation of funds, this initiative will further promote environmental awareness and a modal shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle, the student union said.

KSU Vice-President Luke Abela meanwhile said that one of the central points of KSU’s work in this legislature will be sustainability, and this included not only the subject of transport – but also that of waste management amongst others.

Indeed, KSU announced on Monday that they will be adopting two other measures related to the subject of transport.

One such measure is a collaboration with Malta Public Transport to kick-start a new Park & Ride system, with a direct bus route running between the Pembroke park and ride and the Msida skatepark throughout the day.  The route, TD17, will operate on weekdays at 15 minute intervals between 07:00 and 18:00 – with frequency changing to 30 minutes between 10:30 and 12:30.  

The bus fare for each trip is of €1.50 for all those passengers making use of their personalized Tallinja Card, while it will be €3.00 for those who buy their tickets on the bus.

The car-pooling system that has been adopted over the past couple of years will meanwhile also be expanded.

It had originally been operated manually through KSU’s website, however this year the council has teamed up with Greenroads Malta, a start-up specialising in car-pooling, to integrate the system into a mobile-app.

University of Malta Rector Professor Alfred J. Vella, who used his opening speech to address the issue of sustainability, lauded KSU for these initiatives, singling out the Park & Ride system for special praise.  He called it a brilliant initiative and said that he hoped that not just students take advantage of it, but also staff members, especially those living in the northern area of the island.