Crisis takes toll on transport

The economic crisis has had a major impact on transport, according to experts, who report a reduction of around 30 percent in the use of cars as well as public transport.

The chief reasons for the dwindling use of cars are believed to be the rising price of gasoline, around 1.80 euro per liter, and other higher costs (tax, insurance, maintenance), compounded by rising unemployment and falling wages. Growing joblessness has resulted in fewer people using cars and public transport to travel to and from the workplace while trips for leisure or shopping purposes have also become less frequent, experts said. An indication of the drop in cars on the roads is the fact that the average traffic speed has increased by 11 percent.

Meanwhile the reduction in public transport use is reflected in lower revenue. The firm that manages the Athens metro, electric railway (ISAP) and tram said revenue was down by 19 percent. Fare evasion, which has peaked in recent months, has contributed to the revenues drain.

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