Buses rush into Athens fast lanes

Drivers and commuters are certain to see more bus lanes appear around the capital after seven new lanes were inaugurated in the center of Athens and Piraeus yesterday, as transport authorities told Kathimerini that the lanes allow buses to travel up to five times faster. The new lanes, which include one on Vassileos Constantinou Avenue between the Hilton Hotel and the Panathenaic Stadium, measure some 9 kilometers in length, taking the combined length of bus lanes in Athens to 48 kilometers. This number is set to increase to 53 kilometers by next year as transport experts believe it is an unrivaled method of speeding up journey times for commuters using buses. «According to measurements taken in Athens, buses not using bus lanes have an average speed of between 5 and 7 kilometers per hour,» the director of the Transport Division at the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA), Panayiotis Kontogiannis, told Kathimerini, «whereas buses using the bus lanes reach speeds of between 20 and 25 kilometers per hour.»

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