Four projects to extend and improve the Athens Metro system are stimulating the economy and improving air quality in the Greek capital. The metro system, which currently consists of three connecting lines, has, over the last two decades, helped to transform the city’s transport by reducing traffic congestion, reducing smog levels and cutting journey times. The extensions of lines 2 and 3 contribute further to improved journey times and the creation of jobs during a period of economic contraction for the Greek economy.
In total, the improvements will lead to the building of 14 new stations, of which three were completed and became operational in 2009/10. Metro line 3 (the airport line) will be extended south-westwards with the building of seven new stations between the current western terminus of Egaleo and a planned new terminus at Piraeus (expected to be completed in 2017). The 9 km extension will provide a rapid transport link between the airport (which lies east of the city), the city centre and the port of Piraeus to the south-west.
Metro line 3 has already been improved by the building of three new stations (Holargos, Nomismatokopeio and Agia Paraskevi stations) on a pre-existing section of railway track between the centre of town and the airport.
Line 2 will be extended by 5.5 km, from the current southern terminus at Agios Dimitrios to a new terminus at Helleniko (the site of the old airport). Between Agios and Helleniko three new stations will be constructed and are scheduled to become operational in 2013. Other improvements to the transport network include the building of bus/metro interchanges at Haidari, Nomismatokopeio and Kerameikos.
Over the entire lifetime of the improvement projects, it had been estimated that the new metro system would help create 15 300 jobs. In the long-term, direct employment would result in the creation of over 1 500 permanent jobs once the extensions are operational. The extended metro system would also lead to around 9 million fewer vehicle trips being made in the Athens area per year. This would lead to an 18 million kilogramme reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per year. (EU funded projects)