Pafos is the first Municipality in Cyprus to introduce an electric bus into its public transport system, including smart mobility & accessibility for visitors.
Pafos Municipality has introduced an electric bus into its public transport system, for the first time in Cyprus. This achievement and example of forward-thinking is a clear signal to other cities across the island that a sustainable transformation of public transport is possible and can be done, given the proper attention. The electric bus also serves tourism mobility & accessibility needs.
The electric bus has a capacity of 22 people and provides plenty of extras and accessories – like for example special provisions for eased access of persons with disabilities.
The vehicle was inaugurated in July 2020 by the Mayor of the city at a special ceremony during which he pointed out the achievement of Pafos Municipality in becoming the first city in Cyprus to have such a vehicle in its fleet. He further expressed his hopes that other administrations will also consider becoming more environmentally friendly by incorporating electric vehicles into their own bus fleets.
The new vehicle immediately entered into its trial phase, travelling along specially designed test routes. These routes take passengers along the town’s historic and cultural monuments and near some of the most important places in the city – like for example the hospital and, of course, the old town and city centre. The charging station is also something that Pafos Municipality is eager to improve on, by an additional photo-voltaic charging station thus making bus transport entirely green and eco-friendly.
The electric bus purchased by Pafos Municipality costs a total of 260,000 Euros, along with its charging station.
The bus was procured under the ECOROUTS project, which is being implemented under the Interreg VA Cooperation Program "Greece - Cyprus 2014-2020", co-funded by EU ERDF.
Evidence of success
The limited time since the introduction in July 2020 does not allow for a full assessment of the operation in terms of patronage and use by visitors. Nevertheless, the test runs have been successful and there are high expectations that the electric bus can serve specific mobility needs, including visitors.
The benefits of electric mobility outweigh the rather high capital costs, in terms of lower operating and environemntal costs, moreover when climate action benefits are taken into account.
The capital costs are rather high at present, limiting the possibility of further purchases. However, prices of electric vehicles are expected to fall in the future with mass production. The contribution of electric buses towards climate neutral Europe in a big challenge, in-line with the EU target.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Pafos electric bus runs on special "green routes" designed specifically to highlight the city's cultural and historical monuments and serves the public, locals and tourists alike. It passes through the main streets and attractions of the traditional historical center of the city, as well as the archaeological sites of Kato Pafos tourist area, thus offering smart, sustainable tourism mobility and accessibility facilites to visitors.
The introduction of electric buses in the public transport system of a tourist destination, such as in the case of Pafos, has great potential for transfer to other similar destinations. The experience gained is valuable for other Municipalities and authorities to replicate, towards smart and sustainable mobility destinations including visitors' travel. The rather high capital costs of electric vehicles at present can be outweighed by the substantial benefits of low-carbon mobility contributing to a more climate neutral future by 'smart destinations'.