Transport chief mulls e-passes

After launching a new, integrated ticket policy last week, Athens public transport officials are now planning to offer passengers the option of paying their fares through an electronic credit system. The head of the capital’s public transport company (OASA), Simos Simopoulos, told Kathimerini he hopes to have the new system in place by July 2005, at the latest. Simopoulos said passengers will be able to buy electronic passes that will allow them a certain number of trips on buses, trolleys, trams, the metro and the electric railway. Upon boarding each means of public transport, passengers will insert the credit card-shaped passes into special devices that will deduct the fare. The OASA chief also announced plans to set up a network of automatic ticket-vending machines throughout the capital. «This would mean passengers no longer having to depend on kiosks for their tickets,» he said. The Transport Ministry has launched a campaign to have one in two Athenians using public transport by 2008.