Metro tickets to get ‘smart’

A new scheme involving plastic travelcards for the metro system, aimed at ensuring that commuters do not travel further than their ticket allows them to, is to be introduced by the end of next year, the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) said yesterday. The plastic «smart» cards, which will initially replace only daily, weekly, monthly and annual travelcards and not regular single-journey tickets, will contain a microchip that reveals the duration of a commuter’s journey when it is passed through automatic ticket barriers, also to be introduced to metro stations late next year. The barriers will not open for commuters who have failed to validate their ticket at the beginning of their journey, OASA said. The microchip will also allow commuters to top up their plastic ticket with credit from machines, to be located at metro stations. The scheme, whose budget is expected to top 35 million euros, will eventually be extended to the Athens-Piraeus urban electric railway (ISAP), then the suburban railway, the tram and finally to buses and trolleys, OASA said.