Commuters in the Greek capital will be able to use their old punch-tickets and October passes until November 15, the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) said on Tuesday, revising the date from November 10 as announced earlier.
The extension of the old system was granted in response to the long queues that have been forming at issuing booths for the new electronic cards.
There are two types of card: a paper card issued at automatic dispensers that serves as an all-day pass, a weekly pass or a 10-ride pass, as well as a plastic card that contains the commuter’s photograph and personal details, and can be recharged, with a discount if on a monthly or annual basis.
Commuters have been queuing at issuing booths in the past few days to replace their old monthly passes with the new plastic cards before the end of October, putting the Transport Ministry under fire for providing the issuing service only at selected stations. It has also been accused of over-complicating the process by requiring commuters to submit too much paperwork in order to be issued a card.
The ministry has also come under criticism for not allowing commuters to purchase a single ticket of 1.40 (.70 reduced) euros that allows them to ride all forms of public transport in Athens for up to 1.5 hours, but OASA said on Tuesday that the new electronic paper slips will allow the single-ticket option as of next Monday.