Western extension to Athens metro opens

The latest extension to the metro was opened on Saturday as the underground train line spread westward with three new stops added after Monastiraki in central Athens. The 4.2-kilometer extension includes three new stations – Kerameikos, Eleonas and Aegaleo – and is expected to be used by some 80,000 commuters each day. Metro officials described initial commuter traffic on the extension as being satisfactory but did not give any figures. There was confusion last week over the opening date of the new line. The Public Works and Environment Ministry had announced the new extension would be operating as of last Thursday but Transport Ministry officials said that a few more days would be needed to complete final safety tests. The next scheduled extension to the metro is expected in late 2008 with the western line going one stop further to Haidari.