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Society

Most Electronic Barriers at Greek Metro Stations Not Working

December 22, 2017

ATHENS – The much-touted new electronic ticket scheme on Greece’s metro and public transportation system is still troubled, with not enough dispensing machines and barriers working at only six stations on the subway.

Transport officials said they won’t have them working fully for some time with only one more station set to be operable before Jan. 1, which means that people can still work through without paying unless checked by inspectors.

Despite the delays, there’s been a big uptick in the numbers of people buying the new e-tickets that replaced paper tickets they had to validate at barrier-free machines before getting onto subways, buses, trams and electric railways.

More e-tickets have been validated at Doukissis Plakentias metro station, which has active barriers, than at Omonia or Syntagma in central Athens, which are the network’s busiest stops, said Kathimerini.
Hoping to raise awareness about the electronic tickets, authorities have launched a campaign that includes making assistants available to show commuters how to issue and reload their tickets at automatic tellers located at stops and stations throughout the capital.

The Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) has also made cards that are pre-loaded with 10 or five tickets at 700 points of sale, including kiosks. The 10-journey cards contain credits for an extra, 11th, commute free of charge.

So many weren’t paying the 1.40 euros for tickets good for 90 minutes that STASY, the company that operates the capital’s metro, electric railway and tram systems, had losses in 2015 of 78.2 million euros ($100.7 million) from 36.4 million euros ($39.07 million) the year before.

Anarchists and anti-establishment groups upset with the new system and who want free transport have smashed a number of the machines and tried to vandalize the operation, leading to a plan to have Greek police replace private security guards.

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