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Transportation and transportation in the capital - The new research of Athens 9.84

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The changes and abolitions of public transport routes, the "smart" stops, the purchase of new buses, the new Metro lines to Piraeus that are proceeding slowly, but also the alternative ways of transportation are the subject of the new big research of Athens 9.84, presented today, Tuesday, October 15, on the show "Dames Spathi", with Eleftheria Koumantou and Eleonora Orfanidou.

The new road transport map of Attica envisages mainly the abolition of itineraries, but also mergers, modifications, reinforcements and separation of lines of Attica in two. The aim is to convert even more bus lines into fixed-line feeders, in order to reduce the length of the routes and hence the operating costs. However, some of the cancellations have provoked reactions from a portion of the passenger public. A typical example is line 100: The research in the areas of Kolonaki, Lycabettus, the central Agora (Athena) and Akadimias Street shows that the vast majority of passengers disagree with the decision of the OASA to abolish this route, as it serves mainly elderly people.

It is noted that the line starts at Koumoundourou Square, passes through Karolou Street, crosses Vathi Square, exits at Kaningos Square and from there through Akadimias, Solonos, Skoufa streets to Kolonaki Square. From there follows the route Evangelismos-Syntagma, Karagiorgi Serbia Lekka-Karytsi-Aiolou-Athena-Menandrou-Piraeus and the route ends again at the starting point of Koumoundourou. Line 100 uses small buses that are considered flexible as they cross narrow streets of Athens.

"Double parking" and uncontrolled use of bus lanes further aggravate the situation on the main streets of Athens.

"We are launching new services with a digital strategy. Our goal is to use bank cards instead of tickets," said the OASA CEO. Nikolaos Athanasopoulos. As he said, among the priorities are the interoperable lines, ie the connection of buses and trolleybuses with the means of fixed orbit, such as the metro and the train.

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New bus fleet

The new government intends to announce a new tender for the purchase of 750 buses, a decisive step in renewing the fleet. It is particularly important that many of them are expected to be electric, thus contributing to the promotion of electrification. It remains to be seen how the required 500m euros will be secured.
The announcement of the tender for the purchase of 93 buses with funding from the Attica Region is still pending. No one knows the fate of this particular supply that was first announced two years ago. Time will tell if this is a firework of the outgoing governor or if it will become a reality even with a delay.

-Priority is also the improvement of the operation of the electronic ticket system. Among what is planned to be done is the purchase of new publishing machines (they are also required for the operation of the new Metro stations) but also the possibility of direct traffic using bank cards instead of OASA cards and tickets.

-The OASA planning for the period 2018-2022 also includes the supply and installation of 500 new "smart" telematics stands, with a budget of 2.500.000 euros, however at the moment no step has been taken in this direction.

-When wi-fi, this is a project that has been dragging on for more than a decade. The strategic plan of the OASA again includes the installation of wifi in the group's vehicles with a budget of 900.000 euros. However, as the tender announcement for the purchase of new buses is expected, it will be interesting to see if the specifications of the buses will include the wifi function from the beginning. It is noted that in the tender of the previous government it was foreseen to have a wifi system only in the electric buses!

-OASA also plans to upgrade the outdated bus control system (the cameras operate on film which is then removed and displayed). The project budget will be 310.000 euros.

-Two more technological systems are in the design of the Organization: The "OASA Integrated Passenger Information System" and the "OASA Fleet Management System".

The first is a project that will complement the telematics system. Although no details have been disclosed at this time, Integrated Passenger Information Systems (IACS) use timetable data as well as telematics, providing passengers with information on travel times, timetable arrivals, suggested modes of travel, etc. The project budget is 1.500.000 .XNUMX euros.

According to the OASA, the operation of an Integrated System of Preventive Diagnosis, Technical Capacity and Management Adequacy of OASA Fleet Vehicles will contribute to the development and expansion of sustainable and ecological urban transport, while promoting strategic low carbon emissions. The total budget of the project will be 4.060.000 euros.

Hundreds of drivers in the Transport away from the wheel for health reasons

More than 500 drivers in the Public Transport (MMM) are out of driving service for health reasons, revealed in the afternoon the Deputy Minister of Transport Giannis Kefalogiannis, commenting on the situation that prevails in the public transport. He pointed out, however, that "since August we see more buses".

"In Athens, out of the 1.700 buses that existed when we started the process of rationalization, it turned out that there were 850 buses on the streets, much less than the initial forecasts," said the Deputy Minister of Transport and added: around 1.050 buses more than in September. There is also a very acute problem of lack of drivers. We brought about 1.100 who were seconded to parties and MPs who were not elected and no one had sought them. In addition, there is a tank of about 200 drivers who for various health reasons were found out of driving service, in some other places ".

"We are in the process of a secondary health check to see these problems and how we can solve them. In combination, these have given us more than 200 buses in the last two months. In any case, we will look in cooperation with the OASA administration to see where the gaps are and to make a rationalization program, in terms of staff, to fill them. In addition, as the minister has said, we want the tender for the replacement of the fleet to be launched in the next six months, so that in about 18 months from now we will receive buses ", concluded Mr. Kefalogiannis.

Metro changes - Aim to reduce waiting times at stations

The new transport map of Athens, in terms of fixed orbit means, includes new metro lines, extensions, train supply, but also an effort to reduce waiting at stations.

The only Metro project that is in progress in Athens for many years is being completed but at a slow pace. The last timetable spoke for the completion of the first three stations of the expansion (as far as Nice) by June this year but it will not be delivered before 2020. As for the other stations up to the Municipal Theater of Piraeus, we expect them in June 2021 , unless of course there is a new delay.

Something is moving around the extension of Metro line 2 from Anthoupolis to Ano Liossia after the Attiko Metro announced a relevant tender at the beginning of the summer. As the project matures in terms of design, what is required remains its funding. On the contrary, the extension from Elliniko to Glyfada is still on the ice for over a decade, without any development.
Almost two and a half years have passed since the announcement of the first phase of the tender for the first section of line 4 of the Metro (Alsos Veikou - Goudi). We are now just before the announcement of a temporary bidder for the big project and if all goes well, the contract will be signed by the end of 2020. Under normal circumstances, the preliminary work of the project will have to start earlier, while pending in January signing of the contract.

With the completion of the tender for the first section of line 4, the need to launch the extensions of the line will come to the fore, with priority in the sections Goudi-Katehaki and Alsos Veikou-Perissos, according to the pre-election announcements of ND. The previous government promoted the construction of the extensions through concessions to individuals and it remains to be seen whether the current government will follow the same path.

The supply of 6 directional trains for line 3 of the Metro (these are the trains that can run on the aboveground section to the Airport) is one of the projects for which the Attica Metro is trying to find resources through the NSRF. The supply of trains is necessary in order not to require a reduction of routes to and from the Airport after the delivery of the extension to Piraeus.

Extensions to the Tram

One year is completed in a short time from the traffic stop in the section of the Tram Kasomouli-Syntagma due to the bad condition of the underground riverbed of Ilissos. While the previous government was promoting the work of revealing Ilissos and moving the Tram line (a difficult and inapplicable task), the current government has not yet answered what it will do with the project. Meanwhile, the Tram remains cut off from the center of Athens.

With the promotion of Elliniko's investment, it is very likely that the extension of the Tram in the area will be launched soon, connecting the Metro stations in Argyroupoli and Elliniko with the coastal zone. It will be the maiden private transport project in Greece, while it seems that the Tram projects will start 2,5 years after the start of all the investment works (at best, ie in the middle of 2022), and will last a year and a half.

No one knows exactly when the extension of the Tram in the center of Piraeus will be delivered, a project that has been too late. With the test routes starting last February and with the employees claiming that there is a decision for the immediate operation of the line, it is very likely that this will happen in the near future.
Within 2019, the studies for the extension from Piraeus to Keratsini are supposed to be completed, reviving the old line of the Perama Tram. It remains questionable whether part of the extension will eventually be underground or not. It is also unknown whether the project will be a priority for the current government or not.
Finally, according to the schedule, and if there is no delay, by the end of the year the first of the 25 new orange tram trains should arrive in Athens with the entire supply from the French Alstom Transport to be completed by the end of 2020.

Alternative forms of transportation

In the last year, the main roads have been flooded with electric skates. How safe is it? Where and how should they circulate? What rules must be followed and what limits must be set by those in charge. At the same time, how friendly is Athens and the big cities to the use of bicycles and where can the bike lanes be developed?

The professor proposes the immediate regulation of rules for the use of electric skates, the creation of common lanes for bicycles and electric skates on city streets, the reduction of speed limits for cars in cities, but also the information and awareness of citizens about alternative modes of transportation. of the National Technical University of Athens, from the "Sustainable Mobility Unit of NTUA", Thanos Vlastos.

"Athens is not safe or friendly for cyclists, there is still a lot to be done, we are far behind other European cities," says Petros Valtazanos, a member of the "Friends of the Bicycle" association, in Athens at 9.84. "We are talking here about bicycle lanes and whether they will be two-storey or three-storey bicycle parking lots," he will say characteristically. "Bicycle lanes must be built on busy roads in order to benefit and unite." As for the Athenian drivers, however, Mr. Valtazanos finds that they respect and take care of cyclists.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy is preparing a National Strategy for the Bicycle and the completion of pending infrastructure for the bicycle in Attica.
Key points of the first National Bicycle Strategy, regarding the priorities and objectives in the sub-thematic axes: a) promotion of cycling infrastructure, b) promotion of cycling tourism, c) strengthening of common bicycle systems, d) awareness, d) awareness incentives to increase bicycle use, f) improving the legislative framework for the implementation of actions and policies to enhance bicycle use in Greek cities and the countryside. In addition, the relevant issues for the unification of the cycling network of the Kifissia-Faliro route are promoted, as well as the completion of the Metropolitan Cycling Network for Attica.

bike

For Trikala, a city with a tradition in cycling and the actions of the Municipality in this direction, spoke in Athens 9.84, the Mayor of Trikala Dimitris Papastergiou.

"We have the largest bicycle fleet, in Trikala it would be bad to set up a larger urban network when the city is flat and its radius can not support it. We have created 7 kilometers of bicycle paths in the center and we are increasingly promoting the use of bicycles "said Mr. Papastergiou, noting that" the aim is to strengthen the image where families go out with their children, with their bicycles, and this must be done with safety".

"The big cities are hostile to the bicycle, and cities like Lamia may not be able to support a bicycle network, but we must give space and not be afraid to take the car out of the center. "There is always room to breathe," concluded Mr. Papastergiou.

Railway projects and infrastructure

Reopening of lines, extension of suburban lines, undergrounding, construction of stations, upgrades of routes, completion of projects at Larissa station and commercial development of Piraeus station are the most important of the railway projects that the citizens expect. As far as general transport infrastructure projects are concerned, the creation of a KTEL station in Eleonas, the extension of the port of Piraeus, the regeneration of Faliraki bay, the submarine link of Salamis, the seaport, the extensions of Attiki Odos and the completion of roads are pending.

The project of Larissa station is still in its first phase. For the past two years, the management of ERGOSE has been preparing for the announcement of the competition, which, however, did not proceed in the summer due to the elections. Through the project, 3 new docks will be constructed in place of the old ones, while the station will be connected underground with the homonymous Metro station.

Regarding the port, the previous government did not hold a tender for the development of the properties of GAIAOSE and STASY in Piraeus. The current government, however, appears determined to proceed with the works for the creation of a shopping center and a hotel in the port of Piraeus.

In the near future, the main works for the undergrounding of 2 km of railway lines in the area of ​​Sepolia will begin. The contractor of the project has already been installed while the completion of the works is expected in about 4 years.
The construction of suburban stations in Gerakas and Kryoneri is in the air as it is unknown whether the announcements of the previous government will be priorities of the present. The same applies to the extension to Lavrio and Rafina.
We are waiting for the start of the project of normalization and electrification of the single railway line Isthmus-Loutraki, after many years without routes. The contract was signed in June and the schedule states that the project will be completed in 18 months.

On the other hand, it is unknown at what stage the studies for the analogue of the old railway line from the area of ​​SKA to Elefsina are. The studies, costing 27 million euros, have been undertaken by ELPE (which is in the phase of privatization) while the project will include an underground oil pipeline along with the lines. Another project for the reopening of an old railway line is Isthmus-Agioi Apostoli, which has been undertaken by MOTOR OIL. The project was announced in 2018 and then the representatives of the oil company had stated that after the studies, the projects will last 18 months, for the reopening of 10 kilometers of line and 4 oil pipelines.

The construction of a bus station in Eleonas often comes to the fore without being implemented. The new bus station will return to the forefront if the plans for the regeneration of the Eleonas-Votanikos area go ahead.
The realization of the expansion works of Attiki Odos (Koropi-Lavrio, completion of the regional Ymittos with construction of a tunnel to Vouliagmeni Avenue, extension from Spata to L. Marathonos, opening of Kymi Avenue) was included in the pre-election program of ND. from one day to the next.
The transport works for the renovation of Faliriko Bay are in the completion phase. According to the schedule, in the fall the Tram traffic between Delta Faliro and SEF is expected to stop in order to shift the line.
For the port of Piraeus, the contractor of its expansion project has already been selected, through the construction of a new cruise pier. This is one of Cosco's mandatory investments for PPA.

Another project that was included in the pre-election program of ND was the construction of the new Elefsina-Yliki highway with the aim of bypassing the always loaded Kifissos (and Athens) by those who move between northern and southern Greece.
The submarine link of Salamis is the project that will put an end to the traffic isolation of Salamis and will bring it closer to Piraeus and Athens. At the moment we are waiting for the result of the relevant tender but everything shows that the implementation of the project will not be easy at all. Technical details for the project have not been announced yet and so we do not know if the tunnel will include space for future tram crossing, which is expected to reach Perama anyway.

The plans for the construction of the first waterway of Attica, which as everything shows, will be that of Elefsina, are progressing slowly. The waterfront will be built in collaboration with the Elefsina Port Authority and Hellenic Seaplanes, while last winter the architectural competition for the project took place.

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