Nicosia’s mini buses aim to decongest the Historic Center from cars, to rejuvenate the Green Line and to facilitate the transportation of the tourists.
The Municipality of Nicosia had started the Nicosia's Mini Buses service on the 29th of May of 2017. The circulation of Mini Buses is one of the important provisions of the Integrated Mobility Plan of the capital, which has been drafted by the Department of Public Works of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works. The basic aims of the routing of Mini Buses is to decongest the Historic Center from private vehicles, to rejuvenate the Green Line, to decrease the number of cars and to facilitate the transportation of the tourists who visit Nicosia.
The Mini Buses circulate Nicosia's center by uniting the region within walls with the modern urban center from 07:30 am till 23:50 pm and they make round trips every 20 minutes. There are 2 routes which serve 37 bus stops.
They are small, versatile and hi-tech: they provide convenient mobility, they offer a range of next generation services, a real-time bus tracking website and bicycle transport area.
With capacity of 21 passengers, 13 seated and 8 standing, Mini Buses also offer additional seats for people in need, as well as a ramp to serve people with physical disabilities.
Additionally, the service provides a call center which operates from 07:00 until 22:00, 7 days a week. Furthermore, in every bus, there is a communicational employee who informs or advises the passengers. During the day, these employees visit the businesses, which are located close to the bus stops, and inform them about the mini buses’ service.
The service employ 22 people and expenses are funded by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works. The bus fleet (13 mini buses) was sponsored by Nicosia Green Line Rejuvenation Programme. The cost for the first operational year of the service was approximately € 474.000.
Evidence of success
Despite the low percentage of modal share in Cyprus (most Cypriots use their own car), the results of our service’s measurements show that every 6 months there is a gradual increase of 15% of the total number of passengers. Additionally, due to citizen’s demand new routes will be added to the service
Potential for learning or transfer
A similar service can be adapted from partners which have an old historic town. The old towns tend to have narrow streets which make the public transportation much more difficult. The buses that are used for the public transport cannot pass through these streets due to their dimensions (too big). Thus the small size of mini buses is suitable for these streets and they will facilitate the transportation of the citizens, employees and tourists. Moreover, the service of mini buses can be also used as a touristic guided service which will offer to the passengers an audio guided tour in the old town.
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