The monthly travel card for all modes of public transport in Athens will be reduced from €45 to €30 and ordinary single fares will cost €1.20 instead of the current €1.40 from September 1, the transport minister announced this week.
However, the single fare will be valid for 70 minutes instead of the 90 minutes as is now the case, which represents a 10.06 per cent increase in terms of the cost per minute (from 0.015 cents/minute to 0.017 cents/minute). Decreasing the time for which these tickets are valid will also limit the widespread practice of offering used tickets to commuters who cannot afford them.
Moreover, the €20 travel card for buses and trolley buses will be abolished. The cost of the monthly travel card for those who are entitled to a reduced fare (students, large families) will be €15.
“A year ago, the increase of the ticket price was an obligation under the memorandum; nevertheless, today we decided to change public transport as well as tariff policy. It’s an act of responsibility,” Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said, announcing the changes.
“Despite the fact we expect these decisions to result in an annual €10m euro decrease in revenue, we expect an increase of passenger traffic which will compensate for any revenue losses,” he noted.
He also made clear the government would not consider recalling its decision. “This is not just a decrease, it is an integrated intervention; an intervention that paves the way. We need to radically change the way public administration works,” he said.
He also said that ticket inspections would be reinforced, which, coupled with the introduction of electronic ticketing in two years, would help reduce fare dodging.
The Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) plans to launch an app that will enable passengers to buy tickets using their mobile phones, while tickets will be available at more than 5,000 sales points.
OASA head Grigoris Dimitriadis said that people make 636 million journeys on the public transport system each year, while on a daily basis there are 1 million individual passengers.
In the first quarter of 2014, the company saw its revenues rise by €6.3 from cards and tickets compared to the same period of 2013.
“This is not circumstantial and it marks the return of citizens to public transport,” Dimitriadis said.
Source: enetenglish, ana-mpa