ATHENS – The still-relatively new Athens Metro that began operation in 2000 and other public transportation has been hit with so much vandalism and violence against ticket checkers that Greek police will be providing security in exchange for free rides.
New e-ticketing began this year but the system still allows people behind those using their tickets to open barriers to enter and exit without having a ticket, still necessitating the use of inspectors who increasingly are facing confrontations with fare dodgers, reports said.
Police now will ride the rails, buses, trolleys, trams, trains and subways as a deterrent instead of having the system hire as many as 200 security guards to insure safety for passengers. Police also have weapons and more powers than guards.
It wasn’t said but the system also is rife with pickpockets, especially on subways, who operate in teams and use the cover of crowded guards to lift items and pass them along without being detected.