Since reform in the 1970s, bus operation was centralised under a collective of the owners, the Public Transport Association, or Assoċjazzjoni Trasport Pubbliku (ATP), in 2013.
This association became responsible for the centralised day-to-day operational management of bus services, producing a unified timetable roster and basic livery, although this did not change the ownership arrangements for the buses.
In 1975 buses were painted green, and from 1995 vehicles carried in a yellow (lower) and white (upper) livery, relieved by a red band just below the window line.
Gozo buses were grey with a red band below the window.
The overall transport system is regulated under the Malta Transport Authority (ADT).
In December 2003, in light of over 100 buses being scrapped, a government subsidised tour bus service using traditional Malta buses, as the "Visit Malta bus", was set up by the tourism and transport ministries, although this was withdrawn in April 2005.
As early as 1920, bus manufacturing was taking place on the island, with local carpenters and mechanics constructing bus body coachwork for local transport companies.
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With the formation of the Traffic Control Board in 1931, greater regulation and discipline of the system meant that operators began to upgrade the appearance of their buses.
Since then, the tradition of showing pride in the vehicles has been maintained, through decoration and customisation of the buses.