Public transport companies in the Greek capital are hoping that the approval of a long-awaited electronic ticketing system will help restore their finances to good health as it is expected to combat fare dodging, which is estimated to have led to the firms missing out on between 40 and 60 million euros each year.
The e-ticketing scheme, which includes new barriers at metro and electric railway stations in Athens, was given the go-ahead a few days ago by the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (APPD), which previously had concerns about the system breaching privacy laws.
Recouping the losses they suffer due to fare dodging is vital for STASY and OSY, the two companies that come under the authority of the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA). Their combined deficits for this year are expected to come to just over 58 million euros.
The new system, which allows passengers to use electronic cards onto which they can load cash to pay for their journeys at automatic machines installed at stations around the capital, had been expected to be put into action several months ago. This, along with several attacks on inspectors, meant checks were minimized.