A recent survey conducted by IMR/University of Nicosia showed that public transport in Nicosia and Larnaca has improved in the past few months, the ministry of transport announced on Wednesday.
The survey was based on the EU customer satisfaction index (CSI) standard used for public transport across Europe, which takes into consideration perceived service quality based on the services offered by operators. It also marks the first time Cyprus participated in such a survey.
The survey collected data from the past seven months, recording the effects of changes implemented to the public transport systems of Nicosia and Larnaca as a result of a new concession agreement.
This only marks the beginning of a big change, the ministry said, as the changes so far, apart from the provision of a new fleet of buses, have only been administrative.
More are underway, including free Wi-fi on buses and bus stops, new bus lanes and stops, and new bus routes for Nicosia.
These updates are expected in the next five years, and with the collection of data the ministry will be able to prepare for long-term mobility plans.
Passenger feedback was “more than positive”, ranking the two districts very high in customer satisfaction rates across Europe, IMR/University of Nicosia managing director Christina Kokkalou said.
Passengers were asked about service reliability/bus arrival punctuality, service availability (frequency), overall road safety feeling, overall security feeling, passenger information, bus cleanliness, operator’s staff behaviour, bus stop/shelter cleanliness, bus functionality (heating, air-conditioning) and service hours (from-to).
According to the data, both individual criteria and general CSI rose in the past seven months, with bus cleanliness, functionality and road safety ranking the highest.
“We came to deliver a new era for the public transport sector, and we have the first proof we are doing so,” Cyprus Public Transport CEO Julio Tironi said, thanking participants for their positive feedback.
He added that results “will surely encourage us to continue to do our best to implement further improvements as part of our plans and commitment to the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, to our clients, and to the whole Cypriot society”.
Further improvements to the bus system in Cyprus are being planned, transport minister Yiannis Karousos said, adding that the ministry’s proposals are currently being evaluated by a research group from the University of Cyprus, to ensure their effectiveness.