Ancient hero Odysseus took 10 years to get home from the Trojan War. Commuters in the Greek capital are luckier, with a new Athens metro line making journeys quicker and cutting carbon emissions

Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis, home to three and a half million people who work, travel, and commute daily. Attiko Metro, the company that develops the city’s metro, aims to tackle the problem of congestion by building a new 38.2 kilometre line that will run through central Athens and its suburbs. The new driverless Line 4 will make commuting faster, more inclusive, and greener. It will also entice people out of their cars, cutting pollution.

“There is already congestion in central stations such as Syntagma,” says Panagiotis Klimis, strategic development director of Attiko Metro. “As the car use in the city is also building up, the quality of service, the environment, and most importantly, commuters, has worsened.”

The new U-shaped Line 4 will add 35 stations across Athens. Passing through areas of commercial, touristic, and commercial interest, it will create 5 000 new jobs and ensure that Athens remains an economic engine for Greece.

“It will provide faster, safer and reliable transport to important facilities such as hospitals, universities and their campuses, and reduce travel time to the city centre,” says Klimis. “The new metro line will contribute to a reduction of 53, 000 private vehicles circulating in Athens resulting in 318 tons less of CO2 emitted daily.”

The European Investment Bank, which is owned by the 27 EU member states, is loaning €730 million million to the construction of the first section of the new Line 4, which will run between Alsos Veikou and Goudi on the edges of central Athens. It’s just one of many investments in Greece by the European Union’s financing arm. Last year, we invested €2.53 billion in Greece, which is equal to almost 1.4% of the country’s gross domestic product.

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