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Athens Public transports in time


The evolution of public transport in Athens is closely related to urban growth and the need for transit. Both started taking place in the beginning of the last century..

1925 - The first public transport company, the Hellenic Electric Railways, is founded. The company is responsible for the operation of the underground railway from Peiraias to the Northern suburbs of Athens. .

1929 - The Hellenic Transportation Company is founded. The company is responsible for the operation of tram, bus and trolley bus lines in the central areas of Athens and Peiraias. .

1941 - Establishment of the Urban Transport Control Organisation. The Organisation’s key mission is to control and evaluate the quality of service provided by the bus owners.

1955 - The Electric Railway line is extended to Kifisia.

1956 - The Electric Transportation Company is confined in trolley bus operation.

1961 - Athens Area Urban Transport, the first transport company of the public sector, is founded. The company operates particular transport routes and proceeds to the construction of its own depot and maintenance unit..

1970 - The Electric Transportation Company closes down. A new public sector company, the Electric Buses of Athens, Peiraias and the Suburbs S.A. (ILPAP) is founded. The company’s mission is to operate trolley bus and thermal bus routes.

1976 - The Hellenic Electric Railways are bought by the state. Athens - Piraeus Electric Railways S.A. (ISAP) is founded. The company is from now on responsible for the operation of the Electric Railway (line 1).

1991 - ATTIKO METRO S.A. is founded. The company’s mission is to study, supervise, construct and manage two new metro lines (2 & 3) in the Athens Metropolitan Area.

1992 - Urban Transport Corporation S.A. is abolished. Eight (8) new transport Corporations are established for the operation of bus services.

1993 - All bus services return to the public sector. Athens Urban Transport Organisation S.A. (OASA S.A.) is founded as a Legal Entity of Private Law. The Organisation is totally owned by the Greek State, applying the principles of private economy and performing for the public benefit under the supervision and control of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

1998 - The 2669/98 Public Transport Act sets the legal framework for public transport operation. OASA S.A. is the responsible authority for the planning, co-ordination and control of all public transport modes in the greater Athens area (thermal buses, trolley buses, metro). The OASA affiliates - ETHEL S.A. (thermal buses), ILPAP S.A. (trolley buses) and ISAP S.A. (Metro line 1) - are responsible for the execution of transport services.

In the framework of Laws 2414/96 and 2733/99, OASA can enter into business contracts agreements with the affiliate companies ETHEL, ILPAP, ISAP (EFSE) which will include mainly the terms and rules for accomplishing the business plan targets of the EFSE and the indices for critical economic ratios, such as the cost for the provision of the services, productivity, personnel utilization, quality of the service provided etc..

2000 -The two new metro lines are introduced.

Present Time

Nowdays there are three more companies that provide public transport services in Athens area namely AMEL (metro lines 2 and 3), TRAM and PROASTIAKOS.

The policy of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, as far as public transport is concerned, aims at the establishment of an integrated network of rail modes (Metro, suburban rail, tram) which will be the backbone for the future development of the public transport network in the Athens Metropolitan area. In addition, decreasing private vehicle usage is a strategic goal along with shifting travellers towards public transportation. The New Transportation Map was launched by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, based upon (a) the need to coordinate services between the various modes and (b) the feedback and experience gained during the 2004 Olympic Games.

In July 28th 2005 started the operation, in a pilot basis, of a new bus line named 400 ATHENS SIGHTSEEING PUBLIC BUS LINE. The bus line operate 7 days a week and stops at 20 points of significant tourist interest. Some of the above 20 bus stops are Acropolis, Panathinaikon Stadium, Plaka etc.


The 2004 summer Olympic Games were the greatest challenge in the history of the Transportation System of Athens. The System functioned having as goals to

a) serve spectators, volunteers and workforce to the Olympic Venues, tourist sites and other destination and

b) provide well-coordinated services to the rest of the city.

An Operational Transportation Plan was designed and implemented in order toy meet these goals, thus decisively contributing to the provision of transportation services of high standards which were characterized by speed, reliability and comfort.

OASA’s Role

OASA was exclusively responsible for the design, implementation and control of the Operational Plan for transferring 300.000 – 350.000 spectators and employees to the Olympic Venues in addition to providing transportation services for the city’s residents and visitors traveling to other non-Olympic destinations. The coordination of the Olympic preparation was successfully carried out be the “Olympic Games” Unit which was established in June 2000.

The Operational Plan of Olympic Transportation

OASA’s Operational Plan of Olympic Transportation included ten groups of actions focusing on:

  • Planning the Olympic Transportation Network
  • Priority measures
  • Issues regarding human resources
  • Infrastructure
  • Security
  • Participation in THEPEK – Emergening Planning
  • Crowd management
  • Passenger Information
  • Information systems
  • Pre-Olympic Test events

The Paralympic Games

A smaller-scale kind of mobilization in respect of OASA’s personnel and Public Transportation resources (smaller when compared with that required in the case of the Olympic Games) was required for the Paralympic Games.

The special express lines (Olympic Lines), which serviced the sports facilities, were reduced due to the smaller number of sport events; like-wise, their frequency was reduced due to the smaller number or spectators.

Metro and Tram line, like bus and trolley line, have resumed almost normal levels of operation.

OASA’s personnel were employed in a limited-scale operation of crowd management, which dealt only with passenger information and facilitating handicapped people to use public transport. To this purpose, buses serving Olympic venues were equipped with active embarkation-disembarkation ramps for trolleys. In addition, THEPEK and OASA Operations Centre continued their operation.

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