Tram use peaks in evenings

A total of 600,000 people boarded the new Athens trams during the first 15 days since its inauguration on July 19, while one in every three passengers left their cars parked to use the network, officials said yesterday. Tram SA’s managing director, Angelos Laskaris, told a press conference that Athenians appear to be getting increasingly familiar with the new network, while initial problems with ticket-issuing machines, recorded messages, the air conditioning and the brakes have been ironed out. The average speed is 15 kilometers per hour. According to a passenger poll the company conducted between July 28-31, 33 percent of all tram users had formerly depended on their cars to get to destinations. Forty percent said they rode the tram for up to five stops – the maximum distance allowed for the reduced, 40-cent fare. The normal fare is 60 cents. Most people (40 percent) used the tram between 9 p.m. and midnight, and 30 percent between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Some 30 percent said they felt familiar with the new system. The lines have been named after Olympic victors Costas Kenteris and Pyrros Dimas.

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