NEWS

Public transport ticketing reforms?

In a bid to make the capital’s public transport system more attractive to car-addicted Athenians, Transport Ministry officials are seriously considering adopting a more user-friendly ticketing policy while seeking ways of rendering newly built tram and rail networks more efficient, a source told Kathimerini yesterday. On Monday, the government announced a series of proposals mainly concerning motorists. These included a commitment to maintaining the ban on cars entering the city center on alternate days that was introduced in the early 1980s, plans to keep large sports utility vehicles out of central Athens, abolishing dozens of left-turns on major roads and stepping up camera surveillance on main thoroughfares. Now, the source told Kathimerini, the ministry is working on plans to introduce an integrated ticketing system that will ensure passengers access to all the capital’s disparate public transport networks for a specific period of time. New tickets will be introduced, costing 80 cents to 1 euro, which will allow holders to use buses, trams, as well as metro, electric and suburban railway trains for up to an hour and a half. Furthermore, measures will be taken to boost use of the tram and suburban railway networks introduced just before the August Olympics. The first has proved embarrassingly slow, while the second is too expensive for many Athenians. Now, the ministry wants to cut one in four tram stops, while adding stops to the suburban railway and cutting ticket prices.