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Hybrid tolling system in Olympia Motorway to operate in 2020

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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2020 is expected to be the year of operation of the Olympia Odos hybrid tolling system in Greece. This pioneering system will make Olympia Motorway the first motorway to enter into the era of distance-based, «fair» charging in the country.

Much has been written and discussed recently about this system, as well as interoperability.

But what is the «hybrid tolling system»?

Its operation is both «smart» and extremely simple. O-pass users will be charged at each toll station according to the concessionaire’s pricelist per charging zone, as originally envisaged in the motorway charging scheme.

However, users that leave the motorway at an interchange situated before the end of the charging zone will get a refund based on the actual kilometres traveled into their o-pass account.

To that end, the existing system will be equipped with 30 additional «free flow» gantry stations situated at selected entrance and exit points of the motorway that will be able to record the distance-based trip of all o-pass users.
Market sources predict that other motorway concession companies will follow Olympia Motorway’s lead and install similar systems.

The Canadian IBI Group, contractor of the innovative project

Who is implementing this innovative -for Greece at least- system? The implementation of the Olympia Motorway hybrid tolling system has been awarded to the long-standing Canadian company IBI Group and is essentially an extension of the current Olympia Motorway tolling system, which was also installed by IBI Group back in 2017 – as well as the Motorway Traffic Management System.

The country Manager of IBI Group Hellas, Mr. Antulio Richetta commented at ypodomes.com: «We are proud to be the first to deliver this unique project in collaboration with Olympia Motorway, based on the existing electronic tolling system, and introducing a state-of-the-art distance-based pricing model in Greece.

The project is expected to greatly benefit both local communities along Olympia motorway and frequent users of the motorway.»

In this project, IBI is responsible for the turn-key provision of the hybrid system including the overall project management, the design, supply of the tolling software, equipment procurement, installation, integration and configuration, as well as after sales services including software support and maintenance.

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Signatures approaching for Piraeus Port Cruise Pier

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Κροουαζιερόπλοιο

A matter of just few weeks is -according to secure information-, the signing of the contract for the major extension project of Piraeus Port Cruise Pier. As it has become known, PPA’s Board of Directors has approved the signing of the construction contract with the contractor that has been awarded from the bidding process.

According to the same sources, the project will be signed and launched in the coming weeks, as the time is pressing for the project that is funded by NSRF 2014-2020.

The contractor is TEKAL company with a bid that reached 103m euros (+VAT), for an offer that approached 24.5%. Executives from the construction sector note that this is currently the largest cruise pier project in Europe. Nevertheless, the momentum of the port of Piraeus is evident by the statistics which show an increase in passenger and goods traffic, every year.

The project for the construction of the new cruise pier is a flagship project, included in COSCO’s investment program for PPA, which exceeds 600m euros. The original budget of the project was estimated at 136m euros (+VAT).

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Light rail growth strong in Europe, UITP says

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Light rail infrastructure and patronage has seen a steady increase since the start of the millennium, according to a report from the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), with 108 new cities around the world opening their first line, including 70 in Europe.

The Light Rail and Tram: The European Outlook statistics brief found that Germany and central Europe make up half of all patronage, with the rest split between southeastern Europe, France, Poland, the Benelux countries (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg), western Mediterranean, Nordic/Baltic and the British Isles.

Between 2015 and 2018, light rail infrastructure in Europe grew by 3.9% from 8943km to 9296km, with ridership growing 6.9% from 9740 million to 10,422 million passengers between 2015 and 2018. Light rail now carries as many passengers as metros and regional/commuter rail, and 10 times more passengers than air travel in Europe. The average light rail journey in Europe is 3.27km.

The busiest light rail network in Europe is in Budapest, Hungary, with 411 million passengers, while Berlin takes the title of longest light rail network in Europe at 193km. Ridership growth varies from region to region, ranging from 17.5% in the British Isles to 1.5% in Poland.

There are notable differences between network structures across the countries. While the average European line is 7.3km long, they tend to be longer on average in countries with newer systems and a limited number of lines, while older, more complex systems feature lower average line length.

The fleet operating on the 1275 light rail lines in Europe consists of 20,750 trams and LRVs, with 51% of this fleet comprising partial or full low-floor vehicles, ranging from countries with almost 100% such as France, Spain, Ireland, Britain and Norway to those with much lower percentages.

The average annual mileage per vehicle in Europe is 52,000km, ranging between 38,700km and 77,500km. The discrepancy can be partly explained by the fleet age structure. In addition, this value is theoretical and based on the assumption that all vehicles are used equally.

UITP says that with continued pressure to reduce congestion, tackle poor air quality in cities and reduce greenhouse gas emission contributing to climate change, light rail will continue to obtain support of decision-makers and the travelling public in Europe.

However, much attention and resources will go into the maintenance, modernisation and replacement of assets to keep ageing systems attractive and fit for purpose. For this reason, the growth of green-field projects in Europe will continue to slow down.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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«Eastern Railway Egnatia» project back to the spotlight

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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Σιδηροδρομικές γραμμές στην Αθήνα

The Thessaloniki-Alexandroupolis-Ormenio railway line is once again in the spotlight. According to what OSE Chairman, Mr. Kostas Spiliopoulos, said during a recent ceremony, this project is one of the big challenges of the new decade.

The so-called «Eastern Egnatia Railway» will, as Mr Spiliopoulos explained, connect the ports of Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupolis and will have modernized features.

The construction of two new sections is also envisaged; the first will be a coastal route from Thessaloniki to Amfipoli and the new port of Kavala, in Nea Karvali are and the second section, from Nea Karvali port to Toxotes, Xanthi, where it will be meeting with the existing line.

The whole line will be electrified and will be able to support speeds up to 200 km/h. The new line will continue after Alexandroupolis, ending at the northernmost part of the country, in Ormenio, near the border with Bulgaria and Turkey where the line is used mainly for freight services.

The cost of the projects is estimated at 1.25bn euros and will be activated by the new NSRF 2021-2027.

The Chairman also confirmed that in 2021 all works for the signalling systems on Athens-Thessaloniki corridor will be completed allowing the itinerary to reach 3 hours and 30 minutes while he mentioned that the maintenance of the network will be planned through long-term contracts.

 

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