The only thing scarier than riding in the local buses might be driving with one of the buses headed right at you. These drivers blast their horns and keep on going. It's quite a ride. But it IS the best way to get around and very inexpensive. Here, all roads lead to Valletta, the capital. Just outside the gates to the city there is a large parking lot with at least 100 buses. The schedule is a bit tricky to read at first and the buses are not parked in numerical order so are a bit tricky to find, but you can ask just about any driver.
The buses are from the 1950's I think - all yellow with small seats and no springs left. It's a pretty bumpy ride. Each driver has decorated his bus with pictures of family, pets, religious symbols and sayings, and so forth.
We were staying in Birgu, about a 1/2 hour ride from Valletta. To get anywhere else - Hagar Qim, Gozo, and so forth, we had to take this bus to Valletta and then set out from there. It's about a 1/2 hour ride to most places except the ferry to go to Gozo, which is about a 45 minute ride.
Naturally, since Malta is a group of islands, another way to get around is by boat. There is a ferry that goes over to Gozo (4.65 euro, round trip). There are small boats that can carry you from Birgu to Valletta but they are expensive, about 5 euros per person instead of .50 on the bus. But it is fun to do this once. It leaves you off in Valletta with quite a climb up to the main square!
There are also the HOHO buses. We used one of these while in Gozo but have found getting around on our own on Malta quite easy. And there's a cute little blue bus that leaves from Valletta to explore the "Three Cities" including our little village of Birgu.