Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis, home to three and a half million people who work, travel, and commute daily. But the constant rise in the number of commuters is straining the city’s public transport infrastructure. “There is already congestion in central stations such as Syntagma,” says Panagiotis Klimis, strategic development director of Attiko Metro, the company that develops the city metro. “As the car use in the city is also building up, the quality of service, the environment, and most importantly, commuters has worsened.”
Attiko Metro aims to tackle the problem by building a new 38.2 km metro line that will run through central Athens and its suburbs. The new driverless line, Line 4, aims to create a faster, more inclusive, and greener commuting experience. But building under an ancient and densely populated city is a Herculean task.
U-turn in the Ring of Athens
In 1869, British entrepreneurs built the city’s first metro (Line 1), connecting Athens (the Thissio station) with the Port of Piraeus. That was the only line until 2000, when Attiko Metro opened the red and the blue lines. Now, the Greek company aims to expand the city’s metro system by adding five transfer stations to the existing three lines.
The U-shaped Line 4 will comprise of two radial legs to Galatsi and Maroussi, the northeastern part of the city, as well as a central section that will run through the centre of Athens. The new line will add 35 new stations and includes five separate sections.