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First-time Run for Thessaloniki Metro, Inspection of New Buses

Thessaloniki welcomed a metro test run and 18 new buses on Wednesday aimed at upgrading urban transport in Greece’s second largest city.

Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis was the first passenger to ‘travel’ on board the Thessaloniki metro currently under construction.

Karamanlis boarded at the Pylea depot and together with metro authorities tested the four-car high speed train.

Together with Attiko Metro SA President Nikos Tahiaos, he was briefed on the progress of the project and had the chance to see tests that include the movement of trains inside the depot.

According to metro authorities, the project is running on schedule with test runs in the tunnels next on the list of actions.

Initially scheduled to open this year and after dozens of delays, the city’s highly anticipated metro is set to begin routes in 2023.

A key issue concerns a controversial decision by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) to transfer a section of an ancient Roman road discovered during excavation works for the Venizelos metro station, which triggered the angered reaction of cultural groups and archaeologists worldwide.  Greece’s highest court, the Council of State, is set to decide on an appeal.

New buses

Meanwhile, Karamanlis together with Thessaloniki Mayor Konstantinos Zervas also inspected 18 out of 230 new buses to be added to the northern port city’s fleet. The minister confirmed that by the end of the year, 550 urban buses will be serving the city.

“I want to believe that these buses are a relief, a breath of fresh air, for the passengers of Thessaloniki,” said Zervas.

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