Plans for new Central Bus Station at Eleonas to go ahead
The big project that will introduce the KTEL in the 21st-century returns to the surface. The future bus terminal in Eleonas aspires to become one of the most important transport hubs of Athens and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport took the project out of the drawers for its implementation.
The goal, according to information from ypodomes.com, is the completion of the economic and technical studies prepared by Grant Thornton, and the next step is to select the best implementation model and to prepare the tender documents. According to all indications, the project will be implemented either through a PPP or through a concession as it gathers all the necessary data for these two models.
The new Central Intercity Bus Station in Eleonas (KSYL), will be connected to the Metro station of line 3, “Eleonas”, making it part of the city’s public transport system. It will be reminiscent of similar European stations and certainly not the current outdated image. It will have shops, restaurants, and leisure areas and will be a multipurpose space that one can spend a few hours before or after the trip.
The project is considered according to the same sources, to be particularly commercial, so it will be funded easily and for this reason, there is currently no thought to be implemented through the Recovery Fund. The cost is estimated at around 100 million euros and can be covered by private funds with the concessionaire taking over the management and operation of the space.
The study is proceeding for environmental approval
At this time the study prepared by the NTUA, was examined, corrections were made and the process for its environmental approval began. There will initially be an opinion from the Region of Attica, and then it will get the green light from the Ministry of Environment.
This process is estimated to last until the summer and then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the approved environmental study and with the economic and technical model, it will be able to join either as a PPP project to pass the approval of the Interministerial Committee or as a concession and start the relevant process.
It is possible that the scenario of the competition will be conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself. as a number of issues need to be resolved so that the process does not get stuck by the European Commission. The plot where the terminal will be built belongs to the Attiko Metro.
In any case, the tender will not start in 2022 and the contract cannot be signed before 2023. With the creation of KSYL Eleonas, a big pending issue of Athens will be closed in terms of its transport gates since the current terminals in Liossia and Kifissos.
KSYL Eleonas will look like an airport terminal
The new terminal, which will be built on an area of 69 acres, will look like an airport terminal. The facilities will have a total area of more than 30 acres, while the free spaces and green spaces will amount to about 20 acres. 572 parking spaces will be constructed at the station.
will be a transport hub that will host beyond the KTEL from all over the country and international bus lines. It is estimated to reach an annual load of 16 million passengers.
To give an estimate of the magnitude of the project, it is enough to imagine that the Athens International Airport in 2019 (a measurable year before the pandemic), handled 25.5 million passengers.
The stations of Kifissos and Liossia, which currently serve the capital, accommodate a total of 49 lines and receive a daily load ranging from 24-44 thousand passengers. With its operation, the new project will alleviate the areas that housed the Intercity Stations for decades, while at the same time it will significantly upgrade the degraded area of Eleonas.
International itineraries will also be included
In this number of lines, we should include foreign routes (mainly to Albania and Bulgaria) that will also be included in the KSYL Eleonas. Today, international routes end and park uncontrollably in any available part of the city, especially in the center.
KSYL Eleonas will be connected to the Metro station “ELAIONAS” and will be connected to urban bus lines, while there will be a specially designed area for taxis. With its operation, Athens will have completed all its major transport gates and will have a long-distance terminal, equal to other European major cities.
It should be noted that Athens has been struggling to acquire a modern KTEL terminal since the preparation period for the 2004 Olympic Games, but to date, this has not been possible.