Earlier nights for public transport

Nighttime public transport services in the capital could soon become a thing of the past as economic difficulties threaten to kill the otherwise popular scheme, Kathimerini understands.

The ISAP electric railway, the metro and the tram launched nighttime operations in 2008, serving passengers for an extra two hours, until 2 a.m., on Fridays and Saturdays. In 2009 ISAP said it was temporarily halting the service during works to upgrade its grid. Works were finally completed a few months ago, but the late-night service has not resumed.

The managements of the metro and tram are near a decision to terminate nighttime transit, but the government is resisting the move ahead of the coming elections, Kathimerini reports.

?The high cost of the two-hour extension is not offset by the revenue,? said Constantinos Vasiliadis, head of STASY, the firm that manages the capital?s fixed-rail modes of transport. He said the decision was the result of recent legislation designed to curb deficits at the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA).

STASY puts the cost of the two-hour extension for the metro and tram at 50,000 euros per week, or 2.5 million a year. The cost for ISAP was 25,000 euros per week.