Railway security upgrade

In four months’ time, the heavy police security in place since 2000 at the new Athens Metro will be extended to the Kifissia-to-Piraeus electrical railway, the government said yesterday, promising to improve the capital’s public transport system. «The electric railway will acquire the same standard of service as the metro,» Transport Minister Christos Verelis told journalists. He said 80 special police guards would take up duty on electric railway stations in August. He also said that the new bus lane network – 23.9 km (15 miles), with another 14.5 km under way – in central Athens has helped boost the speed of buses and trolleys by 16 percent, but conceded that the system would work better were Athenian motorists to stop illegally using bus lanes. «We currently have 100 breaches per kilometer of bus lane every hour,» he said. Verelis ruled out yielding to taxi drivers’ complaints and allowing cabs to enter bus lanes, and announced that 10 official taxi ranks will be created in central Athens. These will be placed in Syntagma, Omonia, Kolonaki, Amerikis and Aghiou Meletiou squares.