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Society

Greek Transport Ticket Inspectors Will Hunt Fare Dodgers

November 18, 2019

ATHENS – After saying police patroling the Greek capital’s subway system would also be there to check for ticket dodgers, inspections are being stepped up on buses and trolley-buses by the  Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) to boost revenues,

Despite moving from an open access paper ticket system to barriers requiring electronic tickets  transport authority data suggest that one in 20 people commute without a ticket, walking in quickly behind ticket holders when the barriers open, said Kathimerini.

Similar inspections are also being stepped up at Athens metro and ISAP electric railway stations to crack down on fare dodgers as the problem persists despite the change in systems and with reports some inspectors were being harassed or even assaulted when asking for tickets.

A total of 6,911 fines were issued after 340,958 inspections in October on buses and trolley-buses and at metro and ISAP stations.

There was no word on whether they’d try to stop pickpockets who are infamous for plucking money and valuables on subways, but in March – under the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA – it was reported that Greek police would be stationed at bus stops and metro stations to deter fare cheats and vandalism of electronic turnstiles.

The capital city’s metro system last year went to e-tickets and closed barriers to replace the old system of paper tickets without barriers but the new method allows people without tickets to quickly walk through a barrier once someone with a ticket has opened it.

Inspectors checking to see if people have been tickets – the fine is 60 times the 1.40 euro ($1.57) cost of the ticket – sometimes are accosted or face arguments – will be aided by the police who will protect them.

The cooperation between the police and OASA was agreed at the end of 2017, and sealed with a joint decision by the Transport and Citizens’ Protection ministries.

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