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Society

Closed Barriers on Athens’ Metro Trap Ticket Dodgers

April 25, 2018

ATHENS – Riders using the Athens’ metro subway system without buying tickets found themselves stuck behind activated barriers when they tried to get off at one of the city’s busiest stops.

Fare dodging is common on Greek transport systems, including the metro, where a new system went into place requiring people to buy electronic tickets that open and close barriers at either end of their journey.

But with only 32 of 65 stations having all the barriers working many people walk on and off the system without paying. The scheme replaced one in which people bought paper tickets that had to be validated before getting on but proved costly as many rode free, taking a chance they wouldn’t be stopped by inspectors and required to pay 60 times the fee, which is now 1.40 euros ($1.71) for a 90-minute use, and 60 cents for (73.19 cents) for the elderly, while rides to the airport are 8 euros ($9.76).

There was a lot of common at the Ambelokipi station when people without tickets were unable to leave unless they bought one.

“I thought there was a fire,” a 42-year-old woman told Kathimerini referring to the large number of ticketless people looking for a way out of the station and trying to avoid ticket inspectors.
The fare dodgers had boarded trains at stations where barriers had not been activated.

“But then I realized I had nothing to fear because I had a ticket,” she said.

There was an out for the fare dodgers though: one gate  is open at stations for people who are unemployed and have a card allowing them to travel free and for people with special needs and in wheelchairs.

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