Athens public transport fare hike gets stuck in red tape


Price hikes in Athens transport fares, which were set to take effect as of January 1, have been held back by bureaucracy, Kathimerini understands.

Transport Ministry officials told the newspaper that the setback, which is expected to raise eyebrows among the country’s international lenders, was caused by delays in appointing new managers at the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA). They said the new managers should be in place by the end of the month.

The duration that a ticket for the Athens metro, ISAP electric railway, buses, trolley buses and tram is valid for is set to increase to 90 minutes as the cost of a regular full-price ticket rises from its current 1.20 euros to 1.40.

The government has said that the price hike was supposed to offset losses from the increase in value-added tax on transport fares from 13 percent to 23 percent.

However, OASA firms will have to find extra ways to to cope with the 14-million-euro reduction in state funding, which came on the back of a previous cut of 58 million in 2014.

Public transport companies also had to absorb the impact of the government’s decision to allow people to travel on public transport for free in the first couple of weeks of the capital controls, from June 29 to July 12. The move cost OASA an estimated 9.5 million euros.