The public transport company is looking into allegations that a passenger asking for directions was told by the driver to “take a bus to Somalia”.
The alleged incident happened yesterday morning on a bus stop at Msida, when according to a bus passenger, a man boarded the bus and asked the driver for directions.
According to the passenger who spoke to this newspaper, the man knocked on the door of the bus, which had left Valletta at around 11.20am.
But all the man allegedly received after asking for directions was “disgusting racism and hate”. The passenger told the Times of Malta that the driver’s reply was: “Take bus to Somalia, you worthless, speak Maltese.”
This was not the proper way to treat people, he noted, adding that the bus driver told the man to leave the bus immediately.
A spokeswoman for Malta Public Transport confirmed that the company had received a complaint through the social media site Facebook and it was investigating the allegations.
“MPT does not tolerate any discrimination, including that based on gender, ethnic origin, age and religion. The company takes such allegations seriously and is looking into this case. The driver has been identified and an investigation is under way,” she said.
The passenger who logged the complaint said this was not the first time that he experienced behaviour which bordered on racism, but yesterday’s incident was “disgusting”.
He expressed concern that something like this could happen in a civilised country and was shocked that fellow passengers ignored what had just happened.
The man said he got off the bus right at the next bus stop as he could not stand remaining in the same vehicle.