NEWS

Holargos station due in March

The finishing touches are being put to a new metro station in the northeastern Athens suburb of Holargos, which is due to open in March and will be used by an estimated 20,000 people daily. Sources said the station’s interior is currently being completed and that safety tests will soon be carried out. Holargos station is between Ethniki Amyna and Nomismatokopeio stations on Line 2 of the metro. The station is located on Mesogeion Avenue. The last station to open on the line was Nomismatokopeio in September 2009. It is used by some 30,000 commuters every day but this number is expected to rise once all the bus lines that start at Ethninki Amyna are moved there. This is due to happen next month. The next station to open will be Aghia Paraskevi, which is slated to take place in the fall of this year. Transport authorities plan to move the starting points of 12 bus lines, including those serving increasingly popular areas on the outskirts of Athens, such as Spata, Pallini, Loutsa and Gerakas. Metro officials expect that the transfer of the bus terminals will result in an extra 15,000 passengers using Nomismatokopeio station, which takes its name from the nearby National Mint, every day. After closing a section of the line for six months last year and missing out on 4.5 million euros in lost revenues, the metro operator is hoping that the new stations will help boost passenger numbers, which were down some 10 percent last year according to preliminary figures gathered by AMEL, the company that operates the Athens metro. AMEL is also aiming to cut the time that passengers have to wait for trains. The waiting time is currently an average of four minutes and 15 seconds but the company wants to reduce this by 45 seconds even though it insists that if passengers have to wait for four minutes it would be enough to deal with passenger numbers at peak hours.