The great transport opportunity in Greece

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By Fotis Fotinos

The competitiveness of Greece goes through transport, it goes through the transport infrastructure, so that it becomes a passenger and freight hub of N.A. Europe.

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An important step in this direction was made, as the E.U. approved the “Transportation 2021-2027” program, with a budget of 2.2 billion euros, under the responsibility of the Special Secretariat for the Management of ERDF & T.S. of the Ministry of Development and Investments.

The program is financed with a Community contribution of 1.854 billion euros, of which 1.289 billion euros from the Cohesion Fund and the remaining 565 million euros from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).

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Correspondingly, the corresponding national participation is 370 million euros, with the result that the total SDD (Co-financed Public Expenditure) of the program amounts to 2.224 billion euros.

Indicatively, 760 million euros are foreseen for the development of sustainable urban transport, 688 million euros for the completion and upgrading of the road network and the improvement of road safety, 485 million euros for the completion/development of the central and suburban railway network, 181 million euros for improving the accessibility and connectivity of islands and 89 million euros for the safety of navigation and air navigation.

According to the Deputy Minister of Development & Investments, Yiannis Tsakiris, “the “Transportation 2021-2027″ program is the fifth consecutive sectoral program of the new NSRF that gets the green light within a few weeks from the EU.”

Through this specific program, the implementation of major interventions is expected, such as the new Line 4 of the Athens Metro, the construction of the Northern Road Axis of Crete in the Chania-Hersonissos section, the renewal of buses in Athens, Thessaloniki and in important municipalities of the Region with electric vehicles , the upgrading of the railway network and the modernization of infrastructure in selected ports.

The complete list of projects

The program prioritizes “green” transport, allocating 64% of its resources to investments for:

– Sustainable urban transport: new metro lines, trains, bus fleets (34.1%).

– Development/improvement of the rail network: suburban, TEN-T rail, multimodal rail connections (21.8%).

– Maritime transport, using exclusively “clean” vessels for island connectivity and interconnectivity (8.1%).

It also foresees the implementation of 5 projects of strategic importance, which are the following:

-Construction of Line 4 of the Athens Metro.
– Network upgrade/restructuring and development of zero-emission bus fleets in Athens and Thessaloniki.
– Completion of the construction of the new Athens-Patra double railway line in the Rodofafni-Rio section.
– Construction of the Northern Road Axis of Crete (BOAK) in the Chania-Hersonissos section.
– Expansion, upgrade and modernization of the national VTMIS system.

As officials of the Ministry of Development report, the objective of the program is the intended enhancement of the attractiveness of environmentally friendly urban public transport and the promotion of sustainable urban mobility that will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from transport activity and the parallel increase in the use of public urban transport.

In rail transport, the aim is (in synergy with CEF II) to reduce passenger and freight travel time, increase the number of passengers and increase freight transport. Overall, an increase in the share of rail transport is expected, with a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Accordingly, interventions on the road network are expected to reduce the travel time of passengers and goods and improve cross-border mobility.

Finally, in maritime transport, the improvement of intra-island interconnection and the interconnection of island regions with the mainland is sought, in order to create conditions for further development.

The Metro stations in Piraeus are delivered

At the beginning of autumn, as everything shows, the delivery of the “Maniatika”, “Piraeus” and “Municipal Theater” stations of the extension of the metro to Piraeus is expected.

The delivery of the stations is in the final stretch, as on July 30 the stations “Agia Varvara”, “Korydallos” and “Nikaia” will be temporarily closed, in order to carry out test routes from “Ag. Marina” to the “Municipal Theatre”, with OASA to proceed in parallel with the creation of the bus line “X50 Agia Marina – Nice” to meet the needs of passengers.

The city of Piraeus is anxiously awaiting the delivery of the stations, as this is a project that will make Piraeus a transport hub, as it will have all means of fixed track (metro, tram, electric, suburban) and, especially in the case of the metro , direct connection to “El. Venizelos” airport.

In fact, the total metro time from the port to the airport is estimated at around 55 minutes.

On the other hand, Piraeus “waited” for a long time for the delivery of the stations, given that the initial contract was signed in March 2012, with a completion horizon of 5 years.

For a variety of reasons, the original schedule became impossible to meet, with the first three stations of the Piraeus metro extension (“Agia Varvara”, “Korydallos” and “Nicaia”) being delivered in the summer of 2020.

Source: Capital

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