To ensure fair distribution of both good and bad routes, the daily operation of buses was allocated on a rota basis, with buses operating on a 'day on, day off' basis, whereby one day half of the buses operate on the public routes, while the other half were used for private hire, or as school buses, or undergo maintenance.
As an iconic feature of the island, the classic Malta bus features on several tourist related items.
The first buses were imported to Malta in 1905 from the Thornycroft company in England by Edward Agius of Ed T Agius Ltd (coal shipping).
He formed the Malta Motor Omnibus and Transport Syndicate Ltd with his brother-in-law Joseph Muscat to operate the first bus service between Valletta and St Julians.
Other major centres of traffic included Buġibba, St. Early buses wore an olive green livery with a black stripe.
In the 1930s, buses were painted different colours according to the route they operated.