The operation of Lines 2 & 3 of the Athens Metro started in 2000. The total length of the network is 37,8 kilometers and the network includes thirty six (36) stations (SYNTAGMA station is double because is included both on line 2 and line 3). Furthermore, the "Eleftherios Venizelos" International Airport of Athens, as well as the area of Mesoghia are served with Metro trains for their immediate connection with the city center, through four (4) stations (Pallini, Paiania-Kantza, Koropi and Airport) of the network of Suburban Railway at a distance with a length of 20,7 kilometers.
The annual average of embarkations is approximately 136 millions and high quality transportation services are provided. The two METRO lines are used for the transportation of 480.000 passengers daily. It is estimated that the operation of the METRO has reduced by 71.000 the vehicles of private use which enter the city center or it has reduced the transportation with vehicle of private use by the equivalent of 335.000 vehicle kilometers daily. Due to the METRO, the pollution caused by the vehicles has been reduced by an average of 8%.
The members of the staff have excellent education, abilities, qualifications and know-how regarding the operation of the most advanced machinery, rolling stock and infrastructure installations. The Athens ΜETRO proves the upgrading of the urban transportation and constitutes the most important factor for the reduction of the traffic jams in the streets of the city as well as for the smaller impact to the environment.
The operation policy of the Metro is focused on the passenger. The company proves in fact every day its commitment to safety, protection, quality, and respect for the environment, as well as the provision of high quality services to the passengers. This policy includes many elements of best practices which have been adopted by Metro networks at an international level. For the implementation of the aforementioned commitment the company applies a quality system, which consists of the following:
- Operation procedures – Cooperation among the departments – Effectiveness of the staff
- Quality and performance indexes
- Measurement of customer satisfaction
- Actions of improvement, through the EFQM model.
For the optimal operation of Metro lines 2 and 3 controlled Operation Procedures and Regulations are applied, which are enacted by the company. All the employees have received training regarding these procedures, in order to perform their duties and manage events which might occur. Meetings take place frequently among the company’s departments, at which events during operation are analyzed and decisions are taken for corrective and preventive measures in order to maximise the satisfaction and the safety of the passengers as well as the safety of the employees.
Also, the cooperation with other metro networks of Europe ensures the exchange of best practices and expertise.
The Metro has set as a primary objective its continuous improvement. For this reason, the Department of Rolling Stock, as well as the Departments of Procurement and Contracts and the Department of Supplies have been certified at the first level of European Foundation of Quality Management (E.F.Q.M.) “Commitment to business excellence”. Through this effort the company has gained many important benefits. More specifically:
- Complete analysis through the auto-evaluation method of the EFQM..
- Gaining experience from the auto-evaluation method for the entire company.
- Identification of the weaknesses and application of the necessary corrective and preventive actions.
- Commitments towards the customers that the improvements constitute the dominant choice.
Safety at the METRO
The Athens METRO is one of the safest metro networks in the world and this is not accidental, since the advanced technological systems that have been installed are handled by experienced and properly trained personnel. The safety at the METRO is a result of careful study and planning, taking all the necessary measures at the stage of the application. It is also a result of thorough checking as well as of a continuous evaluation process in order to take corrective measures.
Advanced technical systems such as the Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system, the Fire Detection and Extinguishing system, the Ventilation and smoke extraction system, the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system, the Surveillance and Alarm systems, the systems of uninterruptible operation etc. ensure maximum safety levels for the passengers, the staff and the equipment.
- The signaling system, by means of advanced software, which complies with the most modern and strict specifications ensures the safety of trains’ circulation under normal and urgent conditions.
- The power supply system for the traction current has been designed in such a way so that even if there is a failure at a power supply the circulation of trains can continue without interruption.
- The ventilation system by means of advanced software ensures under normal conditions a pleasant environment at the stations. In case of smoke or fire it provides a safe escape route for the staff and the passengers, by means of a fully automated procedure.
- Through the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system the transit of passengers is constantly monitored and evaluated, in order to be able to take corrective measures in the future, with the aim to optimise the services offered to the passenger.
There are real-time announcements with the aim to prevent a possible accident of a passenger, to prevent damage to technical equipment, to inform the passengers regarding the trains’ circulation or to inform people with disabilities regarding the operation of the elevators.
The operation of the ΜETRO is coordinated on a daily basis by the Operation Control Center, which operates 24 hours daily, all year round. The staff of the Operation Control Center receives real-time, reliable information, concerning the system of two lines, by means of the ultra-modern equipment which is installed there. All the specific technical systems (signaling, power supply, ventilation, notifications, building administration etc.) are supervised and controlled remotely by the Operation Control Center. For every subsystem there is double and triple backup at the local level.