Transport Minister Alexis Vafeadis announced efforts to address the shortage of professional bus drivers in Cyprus by expediting recruitment procedures from European Union countries.
Vafeadis acknowledged the challenge faced in implementing programs such as the pilot initiative for door-to-door transportation of schoolchildren due to the shortage of drivers. He cited multiple factors contributing to this scarcity, including working conditions and the preference of many bus drivers to work as truck or coach drivers.
To address the issue, the government is pursuing a dual approach. Firstly, it aims to recruit drivers from the domestic market. Secondly, a bill proposed by DIPA MP Marinos Mousiuttas is being considered in Parliament. This bill seeks to streamline the procedures for hiring drivers from EU member states and specifically aims to reduce the time required to obtain the necessary licenses in Cyprus.
Vafeadis emphasized the government's belief in the importance of drivers being able to communicate in Greek for the sake of road safety. He further explained that the initial phase of the plan requires 40 drivers for the two pilot programs in Nicosia, with intentions to expand these programs to other cities in the future.