Buses were introduced to Malta in 1905. As well as providing public transport across the country, up until 2011, the traditional Malta bus served as a popular tourist attraction due to their unique appearances grounded in the bus ownership and operation model employed in the country; by the end of this traditional operation, Malta had several bus types no longer in service anywhere else in the world.
The unique nature of the Malta bus stemmed from the tradition of local ownership of the buses by the drivers, and their historic practice of customising them. In addition to a high degree of customisation, detailing and decoration, several Malta buses also had a unique appearance due to the practice of in-house maintenance, rebuilding or modifying of bus bodies in local workshops.
As an iconic feature of the country, the classic Malta bus features on several tourist related items. As the main mode of public transport across the country, the Malta bus was also used by many tourists to visit the different parts of the country. While newer Malta buses were progressively introduced that followed modern standard bus designs found elsewhere, customisation and detailing had continued for these buses as well.
On 3 July 2011, the network of service bus routes across Malta was taken over by Arriva, with traditional buses reduced to operating on only special heritage services.