Walk / Unsplash

Tomorrow, 5th April, is International Walk to Work Day, yet this is a pretty tricky endeavour for people in Malta to manoeuvre, especially given the countless issues tied to travelling around Malta during a weekday morning.

Many who are fortunate enough to live close to their workplace, already choose to walk to work, knowing that going for other forms of travel is often unpredictable and inefficient. However, not many people have this luxury.

Getting around in Malta can be tough, as if you live close to your workplace, you’ll have to contend with poor pavements and infrastructure, as well as the blistering spring and summer heat. On the other hand, if you live far way, you’ll have to face traffic congestion and unreliable public transport. For business leaders specifically, this is even more difficult, since they tend to have to go from one meeting to another. As a result, many opt for other forms of transport, primarily by car.

However, as witnessed practically every single day, traffic congestion continues to be a problem across the Maltese Islands, with multiple cases of standstill traffic being reported on a regular basis. This is not helped by a number of factors, including increasing car registrations, a rising population, roadworks, as well as the need to upgrade road infrastructure.

Therefore, while walking to work may not be the best option in Malta, driving is not that great either.

Another option is to travel via bicycle or e-kick scooter. Recent roadworks have led to an increase in bicycle lanes. On the other hand, while rental e-kick scooters were banned in Malta earlier this year, privately-owned and registered scooters are still allowed and encouraged.

Well, what about making use of public transport?

While many who live in other countries, especially those in metropolitan cities, can choose to take the metro, tram, train, bus, or other modes of transport, Malta is fairly limited in this regard.

Locally, buses and ferries being the primary modes of public transport. However, both of them are often subject to criticism, with buses sometimes being irregular and with stops located too far from one another, while ferries have also experienced a number of delays and cancellations due to weather conditions.

However, the demand for such services still seems to be going up, particularly after trips via bus and ferry were made free for Tallinja card holders a few months ago.

One way that people in Malta can take part in Walk to Work Day is to possibly switch their car trips to work for a walk to a nearby bus stop or ferry station. While the whole trip would not be on foot, it would still be effective in terms of making a change towards a healthier lifestyle.

Earlier this year, business leaders were urged to find the time to exercise and practice a healthier lifestyle, treating their bodies as if they were their business.

People’s day-to-day lives often require them to sit in one place, with barely any movement. Such a sedentary lifestyle is not healthy, as it can result in weight gain, heart issues, as well as a number of other problems.

However, walking does not only burn a significant number of calories and exercises the muscles, but it also acts as an opportunity for people to refresh their minds, especially ahead of a busy workday.

Aside from personal gain, this initiative can also have an impact on the environment, especially if one ends up doing it regularly over the course of the year. Much has already been said about the need for people to reduce their carbon footprint, and this could be a relatively simple way of making a difference.

This year, give walking to work – or at least your nearest bus or ferry stop – a try. Who knows, you might end up liking it!

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