Several major bus makers are reportedly ready to vie for a 461-million-euro contract that envisions the replacement of 32 percent of the vehicles operated by the state-run mass transit company in the greater Athens area, as well as 62 percent of the fleet of Thessaloniki's recently nationalized urban transit company.
The contract, issued by the central government's infrastructure ministry in Greece's centralized system, cites the purchase of 750 buses. Financing by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be crucial to finalizing the contract.
In greater Athens, the median age of an urban bus is 13.9 years; 15.3 years for trolley buses.
According to reports, an interest in the tender has been expressed by China's BYD, Solaris, Karsan, Mercedes, Alstom and Volvo.