Dhekelia Garrison and Zenon Larnaca Buses is working to develop an effective bus service to serve the Garrison's residents and workforce as well as those in surrounding areas.
Focusing of the route from Dhekelia to Larnaca town and its airport, the Station Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Grantham greeted the 425 bus with its special driver-conductor Andreas Sotiris. Andreas whose main job is controlling the newly-moved company's main bus to just behind the picturesque old Police Station in central Larnaca greeted wannabe riders, and explained the benefits of the new service to some potential passengers.
The bus service is already attracting customers from Dhekelia's younger population. Teenagers see it as an effective, and very cost-effective way of getting from the military camp to places like the Bowling Alley, Jumbo's and the beach-front of Larnaca. The town's beachfront, coffee shops, popular outlets like McDonald's and inevitably, the shops, can now all be reached without resorting to asking parents for a lift. Adults who fancy a curry or Chinese will find the 425 stops outside the Balti House, and opposite Masala's and a Chinese restaurant. The return stop is opposite all three as well. With the Hellenic Bank reducing to opening on Wednesday mornings only in April, the 425 route which passes the bank's new location on Dhekelia Road, will become even more important to single and married personnel in Dhekelia.
For adults, the fare at €1.50 is attractive, school children can currently travel for less. That covers the cost of a run to the terminal building of Larnaca Airport, the 425's final destination before starting its return run to Dhekelia.
Running twice an hour, the journey takes passengers along Dhekelia Road with its local tavernas, Indian restaurants, beaches, hotels, pubs and clubs. After passing through the bus station, an interchange point with other buses, it stops briefly on Larnaca's beachfront, directly opposite the Ocean Basket Sea Food restaurant, before moving on to Mackenzie Beach and the airport terminal.
For those who enjoy late nights, the last bus leaves Dhekelia just seven minutes before 1am, but you'll need a taxi to get back. The last bus from the airport via Larnaca departs from the airport terminal at 10 to 11 arriving at Dhekelia at 35 minutes after midnight.
Already, some families are regarding the buses that leave after 6.30pm as their party buses as they leave for an evening out on the town.
In regular discussion with Dhekelia Station, Zenon the bus company running the service, is testing local opinion to see if an extension to the service running from the Dhekelia power station roundabout to Dhekelia SBA Police Station, near the motorway, would be of benefit to Dhekelia's local staff and the villages immediately surrounding the military base.