SOCIETY

Four new metro stations open in Athens

Four new metro stations opened on Friday along Vouliagmenis Avenue in southern Athens. And it’s not just the residents of Ilioupoli, Argyroupoli, Alimos and Elliniko that will benefit directly, but tens of thousands of Athenians who will no longer have to put up with the frustration of getting stuck in traffic.

The new metro terminal for Line 2 is at the old airport in Elliniko. At the same time, another 17 newly designed trains will be added to the current fleet, featuring more comfortable seating, better access for the disabled and air conditioning in every carriage, while electronic route maps will also be introduced.

This will be the second-to-last metro extension for at least a few years. In September, Line 3 will finally get a new station at Aghia Marina, where the municipalities of Aghia Varvara and Haidari meet.

Construction on these metro stops was delayed for years due to the Siemens bribery case, which meant that tests could not be conducted to check that all was in working order up until recently.

Work is also under way for the extension of Line 3 from Aghia Marina to the port city of Piraeus, whose completion is scheduled before 2017. The extension, which is expected to cost some 660 million euros, will be of great benefit to those living or working in Piraeus and the surrounding areas of Nikaia, Korydallos and Aghia Varvara, all of which have poor public transport and are prone to traffic problems. The new part of the route is expected to see some 130,000 passengers daily, and trains will take just 45 minutes to travel from the port to the airport. Traffic is also expected to improve given an estimated reduction of 23,000 car journeys daily.

This extension will also create a public transport mega-hub, as it will serve as the meeting point of metro lines 1 and 3, the port, the suburban railway and the tram, which is expected to reach Piraeus in early 2015.

Construction on Line 4, which is awaiting a decision on funding, is also pending as geological and geotechnical inspections continue. The two sections which are being given top priority are Veikou Park – Evangelismos and Evangelismos-Vyronas-Ilioupoli.

The tender process for topographical surveys of the Veikou Park – Perissos and Maroussi – National Road sections was completed recently, with these two segments expected to be Line 4’s final construction projects.

Also, Attiko Metro recently announced a competition for “geological, geophysical and geotechnical inspections and studies” on Line 2’s Anthoupoli-Ilion section. This line will be 4.5 kilometers long and include three stations.