The end of the 24-hour strike that paralyzed the Greek capital’s metro system on Tuesday did not spell the end of troubles for commuters, who still have to put up with the flaws of the new e-ticket scheme.
Long queues formed at metro stations again on Wednesday as passengers sought to purchase the new swipe cards following the abolition of old paper tickets.
The old ticket dispensers have still not been replaced by electronic ones at many stations. Until Wednesday, only one e-ticket dispenser had been installed at Holargos station in northern Athens.
A total of 300 machines have so far been installed across the network.
Meanwhile, citizens entitled to discounted tickets (0.60 euros), such as students and unemployed, have to line up at counters as the new dispensers do not issue these tickets.
Criticism is mounting against the authorities for failing to ensure a smooth transition to the new system. Officials at the Athens Public Transport Organization (OASA) said that “passengers have embraced the new system.”
Meanwhile, electronic barriers will be gradually activated at more stations so that no one without a ticket can get onto the platforms.
Barriers have already been activated at the stations of Aghios Antonios, Elaionas, Doukissis Plakentias and Athens International Airport.
The activation of barriers is not being announced in advance in a bid to avert protests by unionists. On Monday, members of PAME, the Greek Communist Party-affiliated union, lifted barriers at Aghios Antonios for about one hour after pressing an emergency button at the station.