NEWS

Metro airport link closing soon

The metro line to Athens International Airport is to be suspended from February 14 so that long-delayed works to create several new stations can get under way, the Environment and Public Works Ministry revealed yesterday. As of mid-February, and for about six months, the section of the metro’s Line 3 service, linking the Ethniki Amyna station and the airport, will be suspended. Commuters will be able to use a special bus service connecting Ethniki Amyna to the Doukissis Plakentias station, which has a link to the suburban railway route. Standard bus routes will also increase the frequency of their service, the ministry said. According to Minister Giorgos Souflias, the first station scheduled to open is Nomismatokopeio, which lies on the border between the northeastern suburbs of Holargos and Kato Halandri, in September. This is to be followed by new stations at Holargos, Haidari, Peristeri and Anthoupoli, due to be operational by the end of the year. By spring of next year, Line 3 is to get yet another four stations, at Ilioupoli, Argyroupoli, Alimos and Hellenikon. Finally summer 2010 is expected to see the much-awaited opening of a station at Aghia Paraskevi, a densely populated northern suburb. Souflias said that the ministry is also examining the extension of the metro route into the western suburbs and to Piraeus. Also a feasibility study is under way for the construction of a Line 4 that would start in the northern district of Galatsi, run through Pangrati and terminate in the affluent northern suburb of Maroussi. The Line 3 extension originally had been slated for completion in 2006. The Nomismatokopeio station is reportedly almost ready. A 630-space parking lot is being constructed and a bus terminal will also be created on the site, which will act as a public transport hub.