NEWS

Metro use up, traffic ban grows

As Athens traffic police yesterday extended restrictions to non-Games related traffic on several of the capital’s major roads, metro officials said use of the underground network had nearly doubled during the Olympics, compared to last August. Traffic police said the hours during which ordinary motorists could use special lanes reserved for Olympics-related traffic would be reduced from six-and-a-half to five-and-a-half – from 1 a.m. to 6.30 a.m. The restrictions will apply until early on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Athens metro figures made public yesterday showed an average 75.3 percent increase in use of the underground trains during the Games, compared to the corresponding period last year. Some 500,000 tickets were validated on average every day, a number that does not include use of the metro by Games spectators who had free access to public transport upon display of their event tickets. Use of the metro peaked on August 13, the day of the opening ceremony, and August 14, when the increase was 186.91 and 228.03 percent, respectively.