Langadas, Greece

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Langadas County, Greece, is a rural area with a relatively low population density and low public transport coverage. It has many attractions that are insufficiently exploited, including spas, beaches, lakeside forests, folk customs and festivals, churches, natural monuments and two protected lakes, Volvi and Koronia. There are various geographical constraints in the area that affect the movements of people and vehicles.

The county is located on the border of the urban complex of Thessaloniki (the second largest city in Greece, with almost a million citizens) and consists of two new municipalities, Langadas and Volvi. It covers 56 percent of the total area of the prefecture of Thessaloniki and is home to about 63,614 residents. The proportion of elderly people (65+) in Langadas County is 27.9 percent, far higher than the respective proportion for the prefecture of Thessaloniki as a whole (13.86 percent). The maximum distance between Thessaloniki and any settlement in the county is approximately 90 km, and the minimum 14 km.

The new municipality of Langadas was formed by the unification of the former municipalities of Langadas, Sochos, Assiros, Kallindion, Koronia, Vertiskos and Lachanas. It covers an area of 1,220 km2 and is home to 42,622 residents (according to the 2001 census). It includes 46 settlements that vary in size from 57 residents to 7,462. It is the 10th biggest municipality in Greece in terms of area and is sparsely populated. Its capital, the city of Langadas, is 20 km from Thessaloniki, close to Lake Koronia.

Public transport in Langadas

Before 2010, the Langadas area was served mainly by Thessaloniki KTEL (the exclusive interurban bus public transport operator for the prefecture of Thessaloniki), and numerous complaints were made by inhabitants about poor service frequency and inappropriate timing, poor service quality and high prices. A few services were operated by OASTh (the exclusive urban bus operator in the city of Thessaloniki). The services provided by the two operators differed significantly in terms of cost and quality.

In 2011, the public transport offer was reorganised. The sub-area of Langadas beyond the lakes is now served by OASTh and Thessaloniki KTEL, and an interchange station was established in the city Langadas. The cost per trip was brought into line with the established fares in the OASTh bus network (around EUR 1). The sub-area of Langadas south of the two lakes is served by Thessaloniki KTEL: the frequency of services was increased by 25 percent and the fares were reduced by 50 percent, although they remain around three times higher than OASTh's fares. In addition, several new services and routes were established, in particular:

  • a direct connection between the municipality of Langadas and the city of Thessaloniki
  • local feeder lines connecting parts of the municipality of Langadas via the Langadas interchange station with OASTh buses
  • local feeder lines connecting areas beyond the lakes and the interchange station in Langadas via KTEL buses
  • direct interurban KTEL bus lines to Thessaloniki

Activities within SmartMove

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will implement an AMC campaign in Langadas, aimed at:

  • increasing the use of public transport systems in a rural area with intra- and inter-municipality flows
  • improving accessibility in rural areas
  • decreasing emissions of CO2 from road traffic and reducing fuel consumption
  • promoting new public transport feeder schemes, such as shared taxis and/or small buses
  • organising promotional days and events and using social media to promote the services to younger members of the population

The AMC campaign will target at least 500 participants, and accompanying measures will target at least 200 participants. Active measures implemented by the university in the Langadas area in the framework of SmartMove during spring and summer 2015 will include: 

  • promotional days and events for different users groups
  • citizens' audits
  • passenger training for specific groups (e.g. elderly people, young people), focusing on the various means of disseminating information on public transport services
  • public participation through workshops or focus groups on transport-related problems faced by specific user groups
  • the use of social media to promote public transport services among the younger generation

These measures will help target groups to find out about their mobility opportunities and the available feeder services.

Contact

Prof. Aristotelis Naniopoulos
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Civil Engineering Department
Transport Systems Research Group
University Campus, Faculty of Engineering, 54124
Thessaloniki
Greece
Tel:  +302310995765, +302310995796
Fax: +302310995789
E-mail: naniopou@civil.auth.gr
Website: www.tsrg.gr

Photo credit: studio 43 - Nektarios Basdekis