The colour scheme was started in 1931, partly to aid the illiterate but also to prevent drivers poaching on unauthorized routes.
What happened next:- These routes continued, with the minor mergers mentioned, until 1973, when the buses were formed
into three groups, and route numbers were introduced.
A. Colour Spray Green - Cottonera, Gudja, Kalafrana, Zabbar, Zejtun, Zurrieq. Terminus West Kingsgate
B. Colour White with Blue Band - Mellieha, Mosta, Naxxar, Lija/Attard, Sliema, Birkirkara-St.Julians. Terminus East Kingsgate.
C. Colour Red - Rabat, Birkirkara, Siggiewi, Zebbug. Terminus Castille.
From 1975, drivers & conductors were no longer required to wear caps!
In late 1977 all buses were formed in to a single Malta Bus Service and painted spray green. Castille was abolished, increasing congestion at Kingsgate.
In 1979, the much loved conductors were phased out, increasing journey times.
In the 1980s, some 250 complete UK buses were imported and from a nostalgic viewpoint it was all downhill from there.
In 1995 the colour scheme was changed to yellow/orange, similar to the earlier Zebbug/Siggiewi.
On 3 July 2011, Arriva took over the system with King Longs and Boris's Bendy Buses.
In January 2014 the buses were nationalized under Malta Public Transport.
In January 2015 a contract was awarded to Autobuses de Leon.
Recommended reading. For the full story see The Malta Buses by Joseph Bonnici & Michael Cassar and for pin-sharp photos
see the booklet Buses WorldWide: Maltese Buses of Yesteryear or go to this site.
Stamps issued by Maltapost 2011.