Free travel initiative fails to move motorists

A government initiative to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home yesterday by offering free travel on public transport, as part European Mobility Week, appeared to have had a limited impact, as the capital’s roads were as busy as ever. Major roads, including Kifissias and Mesogeion avenues, Katehaki Street and coastal Poseidonos Avenue had the usual level of traffic, while the city center was very congested, partly due to a street protest. City-dwellers expressed diverging impressions of the impact of the initiative. Motorists were largely unimpressed. «I didn’t notice any difference. It took me exactly the same amount of time to get from central Athens to Piraeus,» one told Kathimerini. But staff on the buses and the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) painted a different picture, reporting a 75 percent increase in passenger traffic.