Commuters face confusion over electronic tickets


There was confusion Thursday at metro stations in Athens after Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis ordered the full activation of the new electronic system and an end to sales of some paper tickets.

Spirtzis took the initiative in response to learning that employees had been boycotting the electronic system. The union representing workers at the Urban Rail Transport company (STASY) issued a statement earlier this week in which they said they would refuse to sell the new tickets unless they were paid a bonus for “unhealthy work.”

This prompted Spirtzis to issue instructions stating that any employee who refused to issue an electronic ticket should appear before a STASY disciplinary panel and face dismissal. The union called on the minister to take back his “threatening orders.” The union also accused him of not listening to their explanation as to why the new ticketing system will run into problems.

The minister ordered an end to sales of paper tickets for multiple journeys, with the aim of withdrawing all paper tickets by the end of this month. However, a number of stations did not have any electronic tickets and continued to sell paper ones Thursday.

The electronic tickets are not available at street kiosks yet either, as while the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) has picked which kiosks will be allowed to sell them to commuters, they have yet to be supplied with the new tickets.