ATHENS – There will be more frequent buses and trains on public transport in Athens and Thessaloniki as Greece launches the second phase in the lifting of lockdown restrictions on Monday, May 11. Use of face masks on all public transport will be mandatory.
According to the transport ministry, the number of passengers is expected to increase compared with the previous week so additional runs will be added during the rush hour, when buses and metro trains are busiest, as much as is possible. More than 1,000 buses will be circulating in Athens and times between trains will be reduced further.
The 300 passenger assistants will continue their work throughout May, at the 45 most important metro stations that connect with buses, in order to assist commuters and remind them to use face masks and keep minimum distances. There are also signs on all buses and trains to assist passengers with distancing, which will be checked daily in case of damage and replaced if necessary.
Meanwhile, work to put up protective barriers between passengers and drivers on all vehicles is expected to be completed by May 18.
The transport ministry will also be continuing disinfection of vehicles and extending this to bus and tram stops, in addition to spraying underground stations, trains and trams and distributing PPE to all staff that come into contact with the public.
The ministry also reported an increase of 85.4 pct in the tickets used on May 4-8 compared with the previous week, though passenger traffic was still at 30 pct of pre-lockdown levels in Athens.
In Thessaloniki, there are 350 buses on the road each day and ticket sales the previous week jumped 41 pct, as well as 29 pct for travel cards and 20 pct in terms for tickets used, though passenger traffic is still significantly below pre-lockdown levels.