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Traffic prompts toll thoughts March 19, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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A metro and Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway strike yesterday added between 200,000 and 300,000 cars to Athens’s streets as Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis suggested that the government is considering introducing congestion charging in the city center.

Almost 3 million passenger journeys are made on the public transport network in Athens each day but 4.5 million trips are carried out by car. This number shot up yesterday as thousands of Athenians had little choice but to use their cars, since a sizable chunk of the public transport system was out of operation. With up to 300,000 more cars on the road, traffic in the city center, on main arteries in and outside Athens and side streets normally used as short cuts was particularly heavy.

“It makes you realize how important public transport is, especially the trains and tram, for the smooth functioning of the city, even though the proportion of journeys made via these modes remains low,” Yiannis Handanos, the head of the Greek Institute of Transport Engineers, said.

The government has flirted with the idea of introducing a toll system in central Athens, similar to the congestion charging schemes applied in other European cities such as London, Stockholm, Berlin and Cologne, to curb traffic on a regular basis, not just when there are public transport strikes.

Hatzidakis said yesterday that he could not rule out such a system being introduced. “The Transport Ministry… wrote to the European Commission yesterday with regard to this particular matter, saying that it could not be ruled out as a thought,” said the Minister. “Before we reach that point, though, we will have to do our research. We will certainly have to strengthen and modernize the fleet of trains.”

Hatzidakis said that transport engineers argue that a city such as Athens should have some 150 train and metro stations. Athens currently has 58 and the Minister said congestion charging could not be introduced before this figure increases.

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer on tram October 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion & Style, Health & Fitness, Transport Air Sea Land.
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Public transport ride is an initiative of the local branch of an international campaign that was established in the United States in 1994

Spot on. The Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign was launched in the United States in 1994 under the guidance of Ralph Lauren. A group of women, among them familiar faces including actresses, models and fashion designers, went on a sun-filled Athens tram ride on Tuesday earlier this week. From Zappeion Hall to Neos Cosmos and back again, the ride was dedicated to talking to each other, as well as informing others about a type of cancer which is on the rise.

According to world figures, the breast cancer death toll is currently rising by 1 percent every year. Meanwhile, it is estimated that one in 10 women living in Europe will be a victim of breast cancer at some point in her life.

Tuesday’s initiative was organized by the Greek chapter of the international Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign. Established six years ago, Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Hellas is part of a highly visible global effort which was initially launched in 1994 under the leadership and creative guidance of Ralph Lauren. Its major tool? The Fashion Targets Breast Cancer T-Shirt.

Currently active in 12 countries around the world, the campaign focuses on research, awareness, treatment and support. All figures points to its success: In Britain alone, 10 million pounds have gone to research. In this country, the campaign’s success culminated in the establishment of To Spiti tou Stochou (The House of the Target), which carries out mammograms. Up to 30 women a day undergo a mammogram here, free of charge for 40 to 69-year olds.

Following the tram ride, participants joined others at a press conference. Representing Fashion Targets Breast Cancer in Greece, Marilena Stratopoulou spoke about the local and international campaigns, while Eryfilli Galli of Athens Tram pointed out that the public transport company is focusing on informing its passengers, 65 percent of whom are women, about environmental, cultural and health issues. Also on the panel were Hellenic Fashion Designers Association President Daphne Valente and Fashion Targets Breast Cancer spokeswoman and model Vicky Kagia. On the Greek campaign’s fashion front, T-shirts, dresses and other apparel have been designed by Eryfilli Nikolopoulou in tandem with jewelry designer Yiannis Geldis, Deux Hommes, Mi-Ro and Simeoni. Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Hellas has also collaborated with Sophia Kokosalaki and John Varvatos, the latter invited to create the first design for men.

The Greek campaign’s products are currently available at a number of stores, among them Attica, Hondos Center, Lussile, Artisti Italiani, Notos Galleries, Fena and Oxette. Also participating in the campaign is a new footwear collection carried out in collaboration with local shoe manufacturers Elite.

“This is about love deposits,” noted Stratopoulou. “Love deposits which we should not keep inside, but distribute on a daily basis.” Starting with ourselves.

For more information visit > www.ftbc.gr. For mammogram appointments at To Spiti tou Stochou, call 210 2521418.