Until a highly anticipated tender for the purchase of new buses to replace the aging fleets in Athens and Thessaloniki is completed in 18 months’ time, Transport Minister Kostas A. Karamanlis is not ruling out the prospect of transport authorities leasing vehicles to serve the public in the meantime.
“In Athens, we have voted for an amendment that now allows leasing so that, until we get new buses, the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) will be able to lease vehicles,” he said.
As for the tender, he said it will be announced in around three months and completed in a year and a half.
He said that more than 800 buses will be withdrawn over the next three years and revealed that the tender will be for the acquisition of up to 800 buses, including electric vehicles.
“The bus fleets in Athens and Thessaloniki are getting old, averaging 15 to 16 years. We need an international competition which will be ready in three months,” he said.