Four MPs on Friday evaluated the new park and ride bus route from GSP stadium into Nicosia by trying out the route for themselves.
House Education Committee chairman Pavlos Mylonas, along with fellow MPs Andros Kafkalias (Akel), Prodromos Alambritis (Disy) and Andreas Apostolou (Edek) phoned in to state broadcaster CyBC’s morning programme to express their enthusiastic approval.
“We usually have to take mental health medicines to do this route by car,” Mylonas joked, saying that the “express service” by public transport brought them to the Apoel traffic lights from GSP within five minutes.
“You can arrive downtown calm, relaxed and in a good mood for work, or continue to suffer in your car,” the MP said, saying he surely would be adopting the route as his regular mode of transport.
Alambritis said he had already used the service the previous day and encouraged commuters to try it out and experience for themselves the benefits, which he said included reduced stress, getting a head start on work enroute and not having to search for parking on arrival.
“Without getting people on the buses we won’t solve our congestion problem,” he added.
Next he would be trying out the Intercity service, the MP said.
Apostolou linked the undertaking to an education committee meeting on Thursday which heard that bus routes to universities are underutilised.
Denying claims that the whole thing was a publicity stunt, the MP said “[Transport Minister] Vafiades has tried to do something innovative, we wanted to try it for ourselves and it works.”
For the first time the focus is on solutions instead of problems, he added.
Kafkalias chimed in to note that “overall the experience was positive” and more parking spots should be created at the route’s GSP starting point.
“Yesterday 400 people used the service but we want to expand this capacity. This will not solve the whole issue [of congestion] but it is a very positive step in the right direction,” the MP said.
The transport ministry announced expansion of bus times on Wednesday after the service garnered high public interest.