The transport ministry will absorb the full increase in student bus fares, with monthly bus cards remaining at €10, Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades said following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Vafeades explained that the decision was made after speaking with the Pancyprian confederation of secondary school parents, and considering a number of arguments for keeping the fare low for students.
Last week, Cyprus Public Transport had announced that the price of a monthly bus card for students would double from €10 to €20, which drew reactions from parents and labour unions.
Vafeades initially announced that the transport ministry would be absorbing 50 per cent of the increase, lowering it to €15, but said he would be holding more meetings to find a solution.
Following Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, he explained that his ministry decided to absorb the full increase taking into account that the use of buses is highly desirable among students as part of their school activity.
At the same time, it considered that increased bus usage is also a goal of the government, especially in the context of school routes as it will help decongest roads and reduce pollutants in the atmosphere.
The transport minister also announced that in this context, three new cards will be issued for 30, 90, and 180 days, which will give students further discounts.
The 30-day card will cost €10, the 90-day card €25, the 180-day card €45 and the 360-day card €80.
This means that with the use of season cards, the monthly fee is reduced even further, he highlighted.
“We want to help wherever we can,” he said, “and in this case, we want to help our students to use the buses”.