The head of STASY, Constantinos Vasileiadis, told Kathimerini that they were doing what they could. “Ticket inspections are still being carried out, and regularly, to the extent that 35 people can serve three modes of transport.”
The Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) said that there had been an increase in penalties issued to commuters. “The number of people taking the risk of boarding public transport without a validated ticket is rising,” it said in a statement.
Ticket inspectors tend to focus on fixed modes of transport as their closed infrastructure facilitates the arrest of offenders. But the rate of fare dodging is thought to be highest on buses and trolley buses -- with some 40 percent of passengers believed to travel without a ticket or with a fake ticket.
Bus and trolley bus travel is monitored by a force of around 600 public transport staff who work shifts in their spare time in exchange for a commission on the penalties they issue. This incentive is believed to be to blame for the excessive zeal displayed by many bus and trolley bus inspectors.
The transfer of thousands of public transport employees into other parts of the civil service or into early retirement has also taken its toll on the frequency of public transport services, and hundreds of daily bus and trolley bus routes have been abolished.