Metro – Public Transportation in Athens 2004
Athens 2004 Olympic Games Pin
The Athens Metro is a rapid-transit system in Greece which serves the Athens conurbation and parts of East Attica.
The Athens Metro is formed of an enlarged and upgraded suburban rail route, as well as two newer lines.
In 1869, a metropolitan railway was built to link Athens and Piraeus, the country’s largest port, south-west of the capital. It was later electrified and extended north-east to Kifissia. It was to become designated the Metro Line 1, colour-coded green.
Construction for the new metro lines, one of Greece’s largest modern civil engineering projects, began in 1991. It was promoted as a response to intense traffic congestion and related pollution that were becoming an unwelcome part of the city’s identity. Metro Lines 2 (red) and 3 (blue) opened in January 2000.
In an effort to solve its traffic problems, the Greek government turned to the EU for financial help. In 1991, a turnkey contract for the construction was awarded to the Olympic Metro Consortium, a group of 23 German, French and Greek companies.
The contract allows the consortium partners to recoup their investment during the term of their operating licence. The metro and other public transport modes, notably a new tram system, also benefitted greatly from Athens hosting the Olympic Games in 2004.