"The Republic of Cyprus recognizes that railways can play an important role in improving the efficiency of the transport of goods and people, for short and long distances," transport minister Yiannis Karousos said Monday during a teleconference shared with his European counterparts.
Karousos stressed that in order to ensure the resilience of the EU economy, the role of trains and other alternative means of transport should be strengthened, noting that rail transport can contribute towards the EU’s climate change goals.
“Cyprus is an island state and does not have railway infrastructure yet. However, it has carried out extensive studies and has future plans for the introduction of trams in dense urban areas as well as a railway connection that will connect the main cities as well as the international ports and airports of the island”, Karousos told EU transport ministers.
Karousos also referred to the Shift2Rail initiative as an opportunity to finance the above projects, the cost of which is estimated at 1.2 billion euros, noting that the required level of state funding is estimated at 50%.
“Such efforts are fully compatible with the objectives of the White Paper on the transport of passengers and goods by rail transport. By connecting all major airports and ports with a railway network by 2050 and connecting urban areas using state-of-the-art trams, car use in the European Union using 'conventional fuels' could be halved," Karousos added.