Poor main­te­nance hits capital’s bus ser­vices

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Staff short­agescom­bined with Athens’s grow­ing num­ber of in­op­er­a­ble or di­lap­i­dated buses and trol­ley buses have led to a re­duc­tion of some 24 per­cent in ser­vices over the past three years, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials at OSY, the au­thor­ity re­spon­si­ble for the op­er­a­tion of the two means of pub­lic trans­port in the capital.

Ac­cord­ing to work­ers, the short­age of spare parts and other prob­lems has led to 60 per­cent of OSY’s fleet be­ing side­lined. OSY man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Gior­gos Anag­nos­topou­los puts the fig­ure at 45 per­cent.

Mean­while, some 220 buses, or 10 per­cent of the fleet, can­not cir­cu­late in­side the capital’s so-called “big ring,” which en­com­passes most of greater Athens, on days when pol­lu­tion lev­els are deemed too high by the En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry, be­cause they do not meet cur­rent green emis­sions stan­dards.

Re­spond­ing to a ques­tion in Par­lia­ment last week, Anag­nos­topou­los said that those 220 ve­hi­cles only com­ply with Euro I emis­sion stan­dards as re­gards ni­tro­gen ox­ides. That means 95 per­cent higher than the level pro­duced by new­gen­er­a­tion ve­hi­cles. He said the buses will be grad­u­ally re­placed in the com­ing years, with­out ex­plain­ing where the fund­ing will come from.

Athens buses are re­placed ev­ery 13 years on av­er­age. In 2015, OSY buses and trol­ley buses made more than 351 mil­lion trips.

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