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Movement against paying road tolls spreading to public transport

Δημοσίευση 22 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:58 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Movement against paying road tolls spreading to public transport
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A movement urging passengers on public transport to not pay tickets in protest against a recent sharp increase in fares, along similar lines as the movement urging non-payment of road tolls, emerged in Athens and Thessaloniki on Friday.

A movement urging passengers on public transport to not pay tickets in protest against a recent sharp increase in fares, along similar lines as the movement urging non-payment of road tolls, emerged in Athens and Thessaloniki on Friday.

Members of the citizens' movements "High Prices Stop" and "Passengers of Thessaloniki" on Friday held a symbolic sit-in on buses and urged passengers not to stamp their tickets, while similar demonstrations were held at the metro station in Syntagma and the ISAP station in Piraeus.

The Athens Public Transport Organisation OASA warned that this movement, along with ordinary fare-dogding, could prove a significant hole in its revenues. OASA currently runs up a significant deficit and needs to be bailed out with state funds each year.

Current figures show that on certain types of public transport, especially on buses, up to 40 percent of the passengers ride without paying for a ticket at all. This is especially true since the introduction of tickets giving unlimited travel for 90 minutes. Passengers frequently pass these on to strangers when they reach their destination, who can then use them without the fear of fines during an inspection.

OASA said that the phenomenon will be dealt with by introducing more frequent inspections or by introduction of an electronic ticket, something that has been announced up to four times in the past five years but never implemented.

The transport ministry has promised to organise a tender asking offers for the installation of an electronic ticket system next month and to pick a contractor by the end of this year using the method of public-private partnership.