After months of Athenian commuters crowding in public transport means amid an ongoing pandemic, the first 40 additional buses are finally ready to strengthen the public transport system. The buses are leased and part of a broader plan to “radically” upgrade the public transport of Greek capital Athens where millions of commuters are twice per day, even during the 5-month-long lockdown.
The buses that joined the OSY fleet on Friday were placed on the most heavily used lines and are part of the 300 vehicles that, through a leasing programme, support the fleet of public transport buses in Attica with weekly deliveries.
The new buses “will go into circulation today on the streets of Athens, on the busiest lines, in order to reduce congestion where it is observed. Because it is important to say that overcrowding is not seen everywhere – you know that, after all. There is overcrowding on some lines, which must be supported in the first phase,” prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said while visiting the depot early Friday morning.
He added “it’s not easy to find buses in the European market at this time, how much more used ones via leasing.”
As the PM is known to be a fierce supporter of privatization of public services, he had cancelled a tender for the purchase of 700 buses launched by the ex SYRIZA government. The bus service in Athens must be the worst in Europe, with just 2 schedules per hour since the bailout agreement programs imposed in the country.
Also these buses do not meet the requirements against the pandemic as they have fewer windows that can be opened and have reportedly only two doors instead of three.
Under the government plan, the buses fleet in Athens has been strengthened by 450 vehicles with 200 of them in partnership with the inter-city transport KTEL.
There are currently 1,300 buses in Athens.vehicles.