Most people in Cyprus would use public transport only if they had to, according to a research that has shown that intercity buses are used mostly, only by the unemployed and those who do not own a car.
The research was conducted under the iniative of the Public Works Department and is within the framework of efforts to improve bus services for commuters who travel between towns and encourage more people to use the intercity public bus network plus tourists.
From the 1,127 responses provided at 8 intercity bus route end points, 63% of bus users said they were unemployed while 80% did not own a vehicle.
This is because most people in Cyprus prefer to travel with their own car. The capacity of private cars stands at 1.4 passenger per vehicle, which means that almost everyone travels on their own. From the 8 bus stations, the highest demand for buses was found to be Solomou Square in Nicosia, with 300 passengers at peak times during weekends, while other stations enjoy about 50 to 90 passengers during peak times.
Concerning the most popular routes for commuters who travel by car, 10,769 questionnaires were completed and revealed that Nicosia is the most popular city visited by 22.4%. Then follows Limassol, with 18.4% and Larnaca and Paphos attract 10.2% and 8.5% respectively. The most common reason for commuting was found to be getting to work (60%).
At Larnaca airport, another 1,000 questionnaires distributed to passengers arriving at the airport showed that most people travel to Nicosia (47.6%) while Larnaca and Limassol attract 21.4% and 18.9% respectively.
The most common routes by bus were found to be Nicosia-Limassol with a maximum capacity of 51% and an average capacity of 30% and Larnaca-Limassol, with a maximum capacity of 45% and average capacity 21%. Larnaca-Famagusta was the least popular with a max capacity of 4% and average, 3%.
Another 785 people were asked whether they would give up their vehicles to travel by bus. Just 35% said they would give up their vehicle if they could get directly to their destination without having to change buses, if it takes them about the same amount of time to get to work and if there are buses every 20 minutes.
Almost half, 46%, said they would use the bus, if the cost of their car was 200% more than that of using the bus.