In response to safety concerns, public transport in Cyprus is undergoing safety enhancements with the installation of anti-engine-fire systems in all vehicles. This €2,000 per bus initiative aims to address parents’ worries and improve safety for student commuters, following disruptions and a temporary suspension of school bus services.
What safety enhancements are being made to public transport in response to safety concerns?
Public transport safety is being heightened with anti-engine-fire systems being installed in all vehicles. This initiative, costing approximately €2,000 per bus, aims to address parents’ concerns and improve safety for student commuters, amidst recent disruptions and a temporary suspension of school bus services.
Public Concerns Finding Solace
The recent uproar stemming from the halt of public-school bus services is showing signs of calming. Parents are hopeful as it’s projected that anti-engine-fire systems will be installed in all vehicles by the forthcoming Monday. This follows days of heightened anxiety and inconvenience caused by the abrupt service suspension.
Safety as a Paramount Concern
The kerfuffle saw Minister of Education Athena Michaelidou addressing the issue publicly. On a morning talk show, Michaelidou emphasized that the students’ safety is at the forefront, justifying the temporary disruptions. In an already turbulent week, over 500 buses were sidelined due to safety concerns, impacting around 6,000 students. Reports of students arriving late or missing school entirely surfaced, with Paphos facing a full cessation of bus operations.
Coordinated Response to the Crisis
The Education Ministry is currently in the process of collecting data to discern the best way to support parents during this challenging period. While there have been hints at shifting to online learning, these suggestions were swiftly dismissed by Michaelidou. Meanwhile, Loizos Constantinou, who leads the association of secondary parents, anticipates the arrival of the upgraded systems shortly.
Ensuring Future Safety and Trust
Despite the progress, a general sense of distrust towards the public bus companies’ safety protocols remains. Constantinou has called for regular and thorough maintenance checks, underscoring the need for accountability and consequences for lapses in safety. In a similar vein, the Minister of Transport Alexis Vafeades expressed concern over the safety of the buses, committing to more rigorous inspections and probing the underlying issues.
Counterpoint from the Bus Company
On the opposite end, Emel’s fleet director Michalis Markou has criticized the spread of fear concerning bus safety as unwarranted. Markou staunchly defended the safety record of Limassol’s public buses, citing a 15-year incident-free history as a testament to diligent maintenance, not mere fortune. He shed light on the specific subset of buses in question, which are contracted mainly for school transport.
Addressing Technical and Financial Aspects
Markou confirmed that the company is in the process of installing the required safety systems, an initiative they have undertaken willingly, at a cost of about €2,000 per vehicle. He acknowledged the delay in installation since the ministry’s request from October, explaining that ensuring proper safety measures necessitates a meticulous assessment.
A Pioneering Safety Endeavor
Highlighting the extraordinary nature of this move, the Emel director pointed out that retrofitting buses with such safety enhancements is not a common practice in Cyprus or elsewhere. This initiative represents a novel step towards bolstering the safety of public transportation, especially for the younger commuters of Cyprus.
- Public transport in Cyprus is undergoing safety enhancements with the installation of anti-engine-fire systems in all vehicles.
- The €2,000 per bus initiative aims to address parents’ worries and improve safety for student commuters, following disruptions and a temporary suspension of school bus services.
- Parents are hopeful as it’s projected that anti-engine-fire systems will be installed in all vehicles by the forthcoming Monday.
- The Education Ministry is collecting data to support parents during this challenging period and hints of shifting to online learning were dismissed by the Minister of Education.
- Despite progress, there is a general sense of distrust towards public bus companies’ safety protocols, and calls for regular and thorough maintenance checks and more rigorous inspections have been made.