Insider / ΚΥΠΕ
Cyprus Public Transport buses will be able to connect to a 5G wireless Wi-Fi network. The possibility will be provided in more than 300 buses that make up the company's fleet in Nicosia and Larnaca, but also at the bus stations. In addition, from January 29, a new route network is adopted in Nicosia, with more options for the passenger public.
A new era in connectivity was addressed by Julio Tironi, the CPT 's Chief Executive Officer, in his opening remarks on the network. The connection to Wi-Fi via 5G network inside the buses is the first to be implemented in Cyprus and the European Union, he noted. This will lead to stress-free transport, with faster connectivity than home connectivity, he added.
“Our goal is to make the bus a viable alternative to using the private car,” he said. This will be achieved through the new network of routes in Nicosia, which aims to connect the city of Nicosia, decentralizing routes from the main station to Solomou Square, adding new stations and giving more options to passengers. The network proposed by the CPT was studied by the University of Cyprus and approved by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works.
The Chief Executive Officer of CYTA, Andreas Neokleous said that the project was made possible because CYTA made a major investment to create the “fastest mobile network in Europe” and has been certified for it for 2021. It managed to have 98 % coverage of the population at 5G speeds, while by March the coverage is expected to reach 100%, which is also noted as a pan-European first, he added.
“We are pleased that our actions speak louder than words,” he said, adding that the 5G network is not just a fast network, but can also be used to develop automation, and new applications are expected to use 5G to improve quality of life.
The Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Giannis Karousos, spoke about the upgrade of public transport in the provinces of Nicosia and Larnaca. The increase in public confidence in the use of public transport is already evident, as there was a 27% increase in the issuance of cards and tickets in Nicosia and a corresponding increase of 57% in Larnaca in December 2021 compared to December 2020, the Minister said.
The need for a new route network was recognized, he added, and was therefore included as a requirement in the announcement of new contracts for the decade 2020-2030. The new CPT network is part of this network and its design took into account previous studies by the Ministry, the demand for specific routes and the problems recorded in previous years, he said.
New morning and night bus services will be added to the routes, he announced, adding that there will be increased frequency, extended timetables and better coordination at the transfer points and therefore it is expected to reduce the route time, as well as reduce waiting times at stops.
The Minister added that the Urban Mobility Sustainable Development Plan is being prepared, with the first deliverable being the study of an integrated network of bus lanes, for which there is already a budget of € 4 million and is expected to bring a major change in transportation.
“Transport to become safer, more efficient and sustainable, in order to serve citizens, social and economic actors,” said the Minister.
It is noted that the CPT started operating in Cyprus in 2020. In addition to the possibility of fast internet connection, it has adopted innovations, such as the digitization of school routes, the pame app, the online credit card, the automatic disinfection of its buses against coronavirus. COMIT Solutions and Peplink contributed to the implementation of 5G innovation in buses.