Steps to root out fare dodgers

Commuters in Athens will be able to enjoy a buy-10-get-one-free offer on transport tickets from Wednesday as authorities seek to clamp down on fare dodging and the use of forged tickets, which is estimated to cost the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) up to 37.5 million euros a year.

The scheme is part an effort to increase revenues and avoid having to up fares later this year. A rise in inspections on public transport in late 2012 had a positive effect and OASA aims to place up to 150 inspectors on the metro, electric railway and tram and another 120 on buses and trolley buses.

The new ticket scheme got off to an inauspicious start yesterday due to a strike by metro and electric railway workers. They are opposing efforts to bring their wages into line with other civil servants and have threatened to only work between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. over the next few days to make their point.