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Metro, tram operator on the right track

By Alexandra Kassimi

The Athens metro and tram are definitely heading in the right direction, as the company that operates them, STASY, has reported an improvement both in terms of passenger traffic and revenues for the first seven months of the year.

In its second consecutive year of profits, and with no need for the state subsidies that go to more problematic public transport means such as buses and trolleys, fixed-track transport company STASY reported profits of 12.18 million euros in the year to end-July, up 109 percent on the same period in 2013.

Sales of regular metro and tram tickets jumped 12.6 percent to 48.9 million euros in the first seven months of the year, while sales of monthly and 12-month rail cards brought in 19.9 percent more revenues, or 27.76 million euros. In total, takings from tickets and rail cards rose 15.15 percent to 76.67 million.

Passenger traffic increased by 2.96 percent from the same time last year to 162.51 million passengers, but the increase in ticket checks brought about a 37.3 percent rise in fines, reaching 3.6 million euros.

The STASY financial results illustrate that a state company which uses rational management in its operations can turn a profit and operate successfully without state funding. And this in a field that has traditionally been state-subsidized across Europe, as state funding to European urban public transport systems usually amounts to 30-40 percent of their operating expenses, commented the chairman and chief executive of STASY, Nikos Papathanasis.

However, there are concerns at STASY regarding the impact that the reduction in ticket prices (from 1.40 to 1.20 euros) will have on its finances. This is estimated to translate into losses of 20 million euros per year for all public transport companies, but losses are expected to be offset by the increase in traffic that the price cut should generate.

ekathimerini.com , Friday September 5, 2014 (21:49)  
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