The long queues and initial distress was just the beginning.
The implementation of a new electronic ticketing system for the Athens metro train network continues to be shaky, at best, with only six of the electronic barriers being in operation.
The initial plan was for all barriers to have been activated before Christmas, but now transport authorities are seeing to have no more than seven operating by new year’s eve.
Despite the delay in activating the barriers, the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) has already seen a positive impact at the stations where they have been in operation.
For example, more electronic tickets have been validated at Doukissis Plakentias metro station, which has active barriers, than at Omonia or Syntagma in central Athens, which are the network’s busiest stops.
Meanwhile, commuters are still trying to get used to the new system, and figure out how to issue and reload their cards at the automatic tellers, with OASA staff allocated in all stations to assist them, and particularly the elderly.