NEWS

Pilot program to allow bicycles on metro

A pilot program beginning on March 1 will allow commuters to bring bicycles onto the Athens metro, but only during a restricted time period on Wednesdays and Sundays.

According to the scheme, heralded on Wednesday by Deputy Transport Minister Spyros Vougias, bicycles will be allowed on the last carriage of metro carriages after 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and after noon on Sundays. Only two bicycles will be allowed in the carriage at a time.

The pilot scheme will run for four months before its popularity and efficiency is reviewed, and then may be extended to operate on other days of the week too, Vougias said.

«I think it is good for everyone if we encourage cycling and make the experience of traveling by metro more enjoyable,» Vougias said. The minister said authorities were interested in promoting «integrated transport» as a way of reducing congestion on the capital’s roads.

Currently, bicycles are permitted at any time on the last carriage of trains serving the Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway (ISAP). They are also allowed on the first and last carriages of trams but are not allowed on city buses or trolley buses.

Intercity buses (KTEL) can carry bicycles in their luggage compartments but passengers are required to arrive as far in advance of their departure as possible. Bicycles are not allowed on intercity trains.