The deadline for the submission of applications for positions as ticket inspectors on Athens buses and trolley buses passed Thursday without a single application having been received by the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA), amid fears about a spate of attacks on public transport vehicles in the city center by self-styled anarchists.
Inspections on buses and trolley buses have been few and far between in recent months following a spike in firebomb attacks on public transport vehicles. Checks were first unofficially suspended in the summer of 2013 as authorities feared a public backlash after the death of a 19-year-old student who fell from a trolley bus in Peristeri, western Athens, following an argument with a ticket inspector. Inspections resumed a few months after that but have tailed off again in recent months amid the firebomb attacks.
Bus and trolley bus routes that used to run in front of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in central Athens have been diverted to avoid firebomb-toting vandals who often use the grounds of the NTUA as their launching ground.
Members of the managing board at OASA met on Wednesday in a bid to thrash out a solution to the problem but, according to sources, they failed to reach agreement on any remedial action. They simply asked Road Transport SA, the company managing the fleet of buses and trolley buses that serves the Greek capital, to brief OASA on the extent of the damage caused to vehicles by the attacks so far.