ATHENS - Infrastructure and Transport Minister Costas Karamanlis and Deputy Transport Minister Yiannis Kefalogiannis on Monday visited the Athens metro operations control centre at Syntagma and were briefed on the situation in public transport on the first day of a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions and the transition to normalcy.
Staff reported an encouraging picture on the first day. "So far, citizens are responding to the new measures with seriousness and the trains seem to be running with the necessary frequency, so that we do not have overcrowding," Karamanlis said, noting that "passenger assistants and signs have made the situation much easier."
After thanking the administrations of the public transport organisations and the employees for their efforts and cooperation, Karamanlis stated: "Of course, problems may arise. We know this. We are here to monitor the situation and to intervene where necessary to do the best possible."
"So far, the Greeks have won the battle, it is now up to us whether we succeed all the way. Especially on public transport, which is used by many people, it is up to all of us to succeed. We behave responsibly, we stay safe," he said.
On his part, Kefalogiannis noted that "public transport has provided important services during the quarantine and, as of today, it takes on a new, pivotal role during the transitional stage of the return to normalcy."
He said that a huge effort was underway to achieve a greater frequency of passenger services and at the same time, ensure safe transport conditions during the pandemic. In the context of this effort, he urged the public to continue to show the same responsible, conscientious attitude, to avoid unnecessary travel and to wear a mask when using the metro, buses and taxis. "We follow the rules, we protect our fellow human beings and ourselves. We stay safe!" he underlined.