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Cyprus expects bus reformation

Cyprus expects bus reformation

21 May 2018 LJ cover – Кипр ожидает автобусная реформация
Tags: Cyprus, Transportation

The Cypriot authorities intend to find "new partners" for the organization of a bus system in the country. This was reported by Minister of Transport of the Republic of Cyprus Vasiliki Anastasiadu at a meeting of the transport committee of the Parliament. As for the "old partners", they lost confidence by squeezing from the budget 376,5 million euros. Bosses of public transport write kumbarosam royal salaries and at the same time constantly threatened by strikes.

The contract for the provision of transportation services with private companies was signed in 2009 year. At that time, the Ministry of Transport was led by the current mayor of Limassol Nikos Nikolaidis. Foreign companies were not allowed to participate in the tender. Six bus companies-winners demanded in the form of subsidies 100 million euros per year. The government managed to cut this amount by almost half.

From July 2010 to 2017, the state budget spent on public transport amounted to 376,5 million euros. The peak occurred at 2012 and 2013 years, when 66,3 and 60,6 million euros were spent. The contract with private companies was far from ideal. In 2017, Auditor General of the Republic of Cyprus Odysseys Michailides called the system "terrifying" and called for tougher checks.

In the Cypriot press, reports have repeatedly appeared that owners of bus companies hired relatives for administrative duties and issued royal salaries to them. The authorities managed to reduce the cost of the transport system, but it still remains a problem. Bus companies periodically threaten strikes and from time to time conduct them.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the carriers refused to equip their buses with a GPS system and an automatic ticketing system. This would allow the authorities to know exactly how many tickets were sold to passengers and where this or that bus is. The government was compelled to involve a private auditing company, which checks the bookkeeping of buses.

The Ministry of Transport is preparing a tender, the winners of which will be engaged with 2020 years bus transportations in Cyprus. By that time, the term of the contracts signed in 2009 with six companies will expire. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus will invite both local companies and foreign companies to participate in the tender. The winner of the contest will be a company that will offer quality service for the minimum amount.

Other plans of the Ministry of Transport

  • Start in the autumn of 2018 the construction of the 4-strip highway Limassol - Troodos.
  • By the end of the year, announce tenders for a bypass road near Nicosia and the Pafos-Polis high-speed road.
  • Install for two years a camera tracking traffic violators.
  • Increase the network of bike paths in Cyprus.
  • Introduce incentives for owners of electric vehicles.
  • To allocate from the budget funds for conducting a study on the financial viability of the idea of ​​launching a tram in Nicosia.

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