In the operation of public transport in the midst of a pandemic, while responding to the opposition's criticism of the crowded images that were observed, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Mr. Giannis Kefalogiannis speaking in Athens 9,84 and Katerina Papavassiliou, saying that where such phenomena are observed, they are addressed through the planned reinforcement of the fleet which is being implemented gradually.
Specifically, he spoke to increase the fleet by 50%, noting that compared to July 2019 when 850 buses and trolleys were in circulation, now, after the partnership with KTEL through which another 200 buses were added, At the moment, more than 1200-1250 buses are running daily in the Attica Basin.
"If we add the 300 buses that we supply through leasing, then we are talking about doubling the fleet", underlined.
In fact, he estimated that The daily itineraries have increased by 3.000 and he estimated that to these will be added another 3.500 itineraries when they enter the traffic and the 300 new buses acquired by the leasing method.
At the same time, he said that the recruitment of about 600 people in OSY and STASY will contribute significantly to the desired direction.
Mr. Kefalogiannis announced that In May, a tender will be launched for the supply of another 800 new technology buses for Athens and Thessaloniki (hybrid, natural gas and electric), the delivery of which -as he said- is determined for the beginning of 2022.
Responding to the criticisms of MeRA25 that the 300 buses provided through leasing by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport are old and that the cost of renting them is as much as the purchase of new ones would cost, he clarified that The main reason they made moves such as the partnership with the KTEL or the choice of leasing was the need to strengthen the fleet with fast procedures due to the pandemic.
"When we are in the middle of a pandemic crisis, the first thing we look at is speed." he said.
Also, in terms of cost, he estimated that it is not large as "their maintenance is undertaken by the contractor and not the company while there will be the possibility of purchasing them at a more advantageous price. Also, these are not old buses, but buses up to a decade old. It is of Euro 5 category when there are currently Euro 1, 2 and 3 class buses ".
End on Metro line 4 (Veikos Grove - Goudi) Mr. Kefalogiannis, who is expected to serve densely populated areas of the capital, after announcing that there will be relevant announcements in the coming weeks, spoke of a great success of the Ministry: "After years, we managed to unblock the process. The preliminary works have started, we are waiting for the final schedule and we estimate that in five years all the stations will be returned to the public ".