Public transport under spotlight

Public transport under spotlight

As part of the government’s effort to revamp the capital’s mass transport services, around 30 employees of the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) who had been transferred to the offices of MPs and political parties will be put back behind the wheel, according to a decision by Deputy Transport Minister Yiannis Kefaloyiannis.

The employees in question, primarily bus drivers, had been shifted by the previous government from OASA in order to serve politicians. Most of these politicians were not re-elected in last month’s general election.

The ministry’s decision Friday to give these employees their old jobs back is part of the effort to tackle serious staff shortages, and resources for that matter, that have had a crippling effect on OASA.

At the same time, Attica’s bus and trolley bus operator (OSY) has been been hit an by epidemic of sorts as a disproportionate number of employees have been on sick leave, to the chagrin of the Transport Ministry, which has launched a series of audits to ascertain their veracity.

If irregularities are found, then the ministry will reportedly proceed with tough disciplinary action.

Meanwhile Friday, Kefaloyiannis met with the leadership of OASA to discuss initiatives that will improve the capital’s transport services to the benefit of commuters.

Among the measures agreed is the restaffing of metro train station ticket offices, the majority of which had been shuttered due to staff shortages.

More specifically, they agreed that the ticket offices at the Acropolis, Monastiraki, Syntagma and Stathmos Larissis metro stations will be restaffed and reopened. Moreover the ticket offices of the Thiseio ISAP station in central Athens will also be reopened.

The offices had been shut down by the previous leadership of the Transport Ministry during the SYRIZA government’s term in office as they had been deemed redundant with the introduction of electronic ticket dispensing machines.

OASA has also asked the Citizens’ Protection Ministry to provide security for ticket inspectors.

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