Within the year some 300 ‘smart’ bus stops will be installed across the country with real-time arrival alerts, in a large-scale project that is hoped will significantly enhance the quality of public transit, the transport minister announced on Thursday.

The €74 million contract for the ‘smart’ stops as well as canopies has been awarded to a joint venture by the name of AS Air Control Ltd & Amco. The contract includes installation as well as a 10-year upkeep.

In parallel, about 100 current canopies at bus stations will be repaired.

“It’s an ambitious, necessary and highly important project for our country,” said Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades.

He explained that the bus stations will be built “like Legos” – modular installations that are scalable.

“We’re moving forward, improving the image of public transport infrastructure, making the bus a real and respectable mode of transit for all people.”

For his part, Aristotelis Savva – an official with the Department of Public Works – said stations will feature electric charging points.

By the year 2030 bus fleets will be fully electric, Savva promised.

Asked for details about the upgraded bus stops, Savva confirmed that they will have screens with alerts about the arrival time of the next bus. This info will also be available on the ‘Cyprus Bus’ app.

Michalis Louka, a representative of the joint venture with the contract, said the bus stops will feature solar panels, dustbins and covered spaces for bicycles.

“We aim to make waiting for the bus a pleasant experience,” he remarked.

Mass production of the components of the ‘smart’ stations will take place in Cyprus, and should start in the month of June.

Currently there are approximately 5,000 bus stops dotted across the island.