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Historical background

Public road transport in Greece and the country's geophysical layout have detered the creation of a complete rail network. This resulted to land transport through private buses, the use of which was not interrupted even during World War II, when such vehicles were used in transport of military forces and front eqiuipment.

1896: The first Intercity coach is in operation in Greece. Its capacity is 14 passengers seated and is made in France. It was considered a juggernaut for its time since all vehicles on the road did not exceed the 5-7 seats capacity. At that time, the only requirement for the operation of the coach as a transport medium was a simple license issued by the police authorities. Every coach was forming an independent private business and the owner, to his judgment, could use the vehicle in any district covering any route. The ticket value was formed depending on the passenger traffic or any potential competition.

1920-5: The first provisions are issued for the regulation of traffic or bus movement. Such provisions were the Legislative Degree 24812 of September 1922 and the Presidential Degree 715 of October 1925.

1937-1940: The joint Directorates for Urban and Intercity Buses and Coaches are formed as the first significant step towards organising passenger transport. This course was interrupted during the World War II. On 1939 the country numbered 1635 Intercity Coaches with a total capacity of 27.767 passengers. After the war, bus transportation started to reconstruct and presented a great leap, due to the fact that the rail network was destroyed and servicing only a few areas in the country, the air force was not operating and vehicles were the only means for land transport.

1952: Following Law 2119 the Joint Bus Receipts Funds (KTEL) were formed, one in every Prefecture and island. 104 Joint Funds were created of which 59 where for Intercity coaches and 45 for Urban buses.
Intercity KTEL numbered 3.311 coaches seating 79.464 passengers.

1968: Upon decision of the Minister of Transport such organisations were halted and KTEL companies were merged into 8 large district organisations, known as the KTEYL (Intericty Joint Bus Receipts Fund).

1973: The Legislative Degree no. 102/1973 issued at the time on the organisation of public passenger transport on coaches reinstated the former organisation status.

1984: Based on Law 1437/84, article 24, the urban and intercity KTEL bases undergo a separation process.

2001: The new Law 2963/2001 is voted, supplementing and amending Law 102, creating better perspectives for KTEL operation.

2003: According to law 2963/2001, KTEL companies change into limited companies.

There are currently 59 KTEL companies numbering 3.953 coaches that serve 80% of the passenger transport. Intercity KTEL routes are regulated upon decision of the prefectural administration. Such regulation often results to many KTEL routes performed carrying only a few passengers in adverse conditions and with no profit at all. KTEL social work is not interrupted: KTEL coaches continue to this day to cater for remote areas transporting medicine and supplies and helping maintain the continuous interaction between such areas and the large cities in various prefectures. KTEL coaches serve and transfer free of charge 140.000 pupils and students (primary & secondary education) to areas far from their place of residence so that the children may attend teaching. KTEL social work also includes the transport of 90.000 persons with special needs. With their one-century presence, KTEL companies have developed into one of the most important group of bodies in transport. As their work continues, higher goals are set towards modernisation, both in terms of technology and quality upgrade of services offered.