12° Nicosia,
25 July, 2024

Fees for Pame Express service to be decided in 2024

Transport Ministry evaluates whether to introduce fees for the pilot traffic alleviation project

Ioanna Kyriakou

Decisions regarding potential charges for the Pame Express service will be made in February 2024 by the Department for Transport, Communications, and Works. This service, aimed at alleviating traffic issues on the roads, is in a pilot phase until March, with Minister Alexis Vafeadis, responsible for the project, emphasizing that during this pilot phase, there will be no charges for parking or using the route. Vafeadis stated, "Our intention is to assess the project's effectiveness and its contribution to reducing traffic congestion. Depending on the benefits to the community, we will determine whether charges will be introduced. While our goal is to keep it free, we cannot guarantee that." Simultaneously, an effort is being made to expand the project to Nicosia, Larnaca, and Limassol, and the reason for the undecided charges stems from the unknown scope of the project. Vafeadis clarified, "Our plan is to implement it where feasible. A decision cannot be reached without knowing the total cost."

In response to recent statements by the General Manager of the GSP, considering parking charges around the stadium, Vafeadis pointed out that the area in question is used by citizens who leave their vehicles there and, along with their companions, travel out of town, leading to increased cleaning costs. He clarified that the users of the "Pame Express" will not be charged for parking while the program is in its pilot phase. It should be noted that according to Phoebos Konstantinidis, General Manager of the Nicosia Gymnastics Club (LGA), those who use the LGA stadium parking space on a daily basis might be charged €10 per month, with a daily fee of €1.

Regarding the expansion of the project, a prior article by "K" and journalist Marios Christofis discusses plans to extend the "Pame Express" service to Nicosia's western side, potentially near Makarios Stadium or other provincial areas. However, the challenge currently faced is the shortage of bus drivers, hindering expansion in Nicosia. For the Limassol and Larnaca districts, there's talk of implementing a similar "express" service using intercity buses heading to Nicosia. Passengers would have the choice to either use the Pame Express service or continue to their final destination. The Head of the Public Passenger Transport Department emphasized the need to identify specific routes to meet passenger demands. "The current challenge is to locate suitable areas in the two provinces for Park & Ride, where people can park their vehicles and easily board the bus," said Andreas Nikiforou, who anticipates official announcements from the responsible department by the end of October.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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