NEWS

Public transport fare changes

Traveling on the public transport network will become simpler but more expensive for some commuters in Athens as of Thursday when an 80-cent ticket that can be used on all modes of transport will be introduced. The government has decided that the simplification of ticket prices on Athens’s public transport system will help boost passenger numbers. At present, ticket prices on the metro, Athens-Piraeus electric railway, buses, trolley buses and trams are all different. There is currently a 1-euro ticket that allows passengers to use any form of transport in a 90-minute period but, from Thursday, this ticket will be priced at 80 cents and all other tickets will no longer be issued. This will represent a 60 percent rise for passengers who use just buses or trolley buses. Athenians who ride buses and trolley buses account for about one-third of all tickets sold. Tram riders will be forced to fork out between 33 and 100 percent more and electric railway passengers will cough up 14 percent more. There will be no change for metro passengers. Transport officials believe that more passengers will benefit from the fact that they will be able to use more than one form of public transport for 90 minutes and pay only 80 cents. The prices of monthly travel cards will also be cut with the aim of giving commuters better value for money. A ticket valid for one month that can be used on the entire public transport network will cost 35 euros, instead of 38, from May 1. The price of a monthly pass for buses and trolley buses will be reduced from 17.50 to 15 euros. The changes to public transport ticket prices will come into effect just a few weeks before the cost of traveling by taxi and KTEL intercity bus goes up. It was agreed last week that taxis and buses should be allowed to charge 5 percent more from May 19 as a result of the recent rises in fuel prices. This means that the minimum charge for taking a taxi will be 2.80 euros. Cabbies have threatened to push for further increases in the near future.