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Bus network gets an upgrade

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Commuters using public transport to go about their business will no longer have to stand in the sun and rain while waiting for the bus, as a €60 mln project will deliver state-of-the-art shelters.

The Department of Public Works is preparing a tender to construct 5,100 modern sheltered bus stops and smart boards informing passengers of arrival times.

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades said public transport users are entitled to commute under decent surroundings and not, as he said, “third world” conditions.

“We want citizens to have a positive experience while using the transport network, and modernisation of the entire system will be a step forward,” said Vafeades.

He told Phileleftheros the new infrastructure project would be a key part of upgrading passenger services and encourage more people to use public transport.

Eleven companies had initially shown interest in the project, of which eight were pre-selected for participation in the next round.

Four of the eight operators have submitted a bid, three Cypriot companies and one Greek.

The tender is to be awarded around the end of the month, so work on the project is expected to take off in 2024.

The project is expected to be completed within five years, with 1,000 5m bus shelters coming online. Rural areas are also included in the plans.

It also foresees that older bus stops, not replaced by one of the high-tech stations, will be repaired.

New installations will replace those found to be in a poor state.

At the end of the five-year construction period, some 350 smart information pillars and 500 electronic signs will be available to commuters.

A total of 1,350 smaller smart bus stops and 650 bigger installations in cities will be installed.

Some 100 large smart bus stops will be installed in rural areas.

Furthermore, another 2,000 simplified but covered bus stops will also come online.

The company awarded the project will also have to install 450 bins at bus stops and 200 bike racks.