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Athens Metro: the new extension to Piraeus is the most important one in decades

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Γραμμή 3 - Σταθμός Δημοτικό Θέατρο
Γραμμή 3 - Σταθμός Δημοτικό Θέατρο. Πηγή: Δήμος Πειραιά

If there are no unforeseen circumstances, on Monday, October 10, the inauguration will take place and the extension of line 3 from Nikaia to the Dimotiko Theatro of Piraeus will be put into operation. The operation of the additional 3 stations not only extends the blue line of the city but is of historical importance.

When in 1869 Athens and Piraeus were joined by means of a fixed track, it was a revolution in transport (I don’t know if we can call it urban for that period) in the wider area of ​​the then relatively new capital of the Greek state. This line gradually grew and is now line 1 of the Athens Metro, better known as Electrikos or ISAP.

On October 10, another line will join the two most important urban and economic poles of the capital. For the first time, the administrative, commercial and business center of Piraeus will be united with the center of the capital giving a new dynamic to the medium.

At the same time, for the first time, Piraeus joins many of its suburbs. Maniatika, Nikaia, Korydallos and, by extension, Neapoli are joined by Metro stations that will make commuting easy and a matter of a few minutes.

The big change in daily commutes

Until today, the expansion of Piraeus has mainly been combined with the airport-port connection, which is indeed of great value, but it does not concern everyday life as much as the possibility for tourists to move easily between the two major transport gateways of Attica.

Piraeus is of course much more than its port. It is a strong business center, a pole that is inextricably linked with Athens and together they form two dominant points of the capital. It is also a city where thousands of office workers work, as is the case in the center of Athens.

Therefore, giving the possibility to the passenger to be able to reach Syntagma easily and quickly from the Municipal Theater, from Piraeus or Maniatika is extremely important and will change the urban transportation of the capital in a short period of time.

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In addition, together with the Tram (which has been in operation for several months already), it is upgrading Piraeus in terms of transportation, urban and environmental aspects. The changes that will come from the operation of the Metro to the center of Piraeus in relation to the nearby Municipalities will be fundamental in order to drastically reduce the traffic in the central axes of the city and the wider region.

In the center of Piraeus, one will now be able to go comfortably from all the important centers of the city either by Metro (e.g. from Peristeri, from Cholargo, from Agia Paraskevi, from Sepolia, etc.) or by Tram ( from Voula, Glyfada, Nea Smyrni, Alimos, Paleo Faliro, etc.).

This new mobility feature will come gradually as it did with previous expansions. The big difference is the volume of commuters daily in Piraeus which is an administrative, shipping and commercial center in addition to the fact that it provides a ferry connection to the islands of the eastern part of the country.

The gradual change

In the coming months, it remains to be seen how significant a change it can bring as far as traffic and private vehicles are concerned, especially on major axes of the capital such as Poseidonos, Syngrou, Piraios, now having better connection possibilities with the means of fixed track.

In this, of course, the great contribution of line 1 remains, which to this day alone carries the burden of moving by means of a fixed track from the northern suburbs and Athens to the port of Piraeus. The value of the line is particularly great and now with two more lines, Tram and line 3 of the Metro, they will form the backbone of the movements to and from the country’s large port.

Dissonance in this dynamic transformation of urban transport unfortunately remains the Suburban Railway whose station remains empty most hours of the day, despite the fact that it crosses areas from Rentis to Agioi Anargyroi that do not have a fixed track.

The most significant expansion in two decades

The infrequent routes and the difficult connection between Piraeus and the Airport can be changed and the Suburban can become another asset in the movement by means of a fixed track that ends at the port of Piraeus. The line from Piraeus to Attiki Odos and maybe beyond can become a Metro type line attracting more passengers on a daily basis.

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In any case, the importance of the extension of line 3 to the port and the center of Piraeus is indisputable, perhaps the most important in 18 years, when the Metro went to the northern suburbs, the airport, Peristeri and Agios Dimitrios.

Its effect will be seen in the coming months entering the daily life of passengers, citizens and visitors of the city.

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