OPINION

Public transport gains popularity

In view of the never-ending traffic jams we see daily on the roads of the capital (and the average Greek’s obsession with his car), one would assume that public transport is hardly being used. But this is not so. Results of a poll conducted recently by VPRC showed that 43 percent of Athenians use public transport (buses, trolleys, the urban railway or the metro) more than once a day – hardly negligible figures. The report also indicates that citizens are more satisfied with public transport than in previous years. This leads us to conclude that measures – including the creation of bus lanes, the upgrading of vehicles and the increase in route frequency – have had a positive effect. The more suspicious among us may think the study was backed by the state in order to set the stage for forthcoming fare increases and new measures which will replace the current system regulating the flow of traffic in the capital (such as a ban on traffic in the center or the creation of toll posts). This does not change the fact that more Athenians are favoring public transport due to its relatively low cost and especially its lack of hassle, including time wasted searching for a parking spot. Here’s a good idea: The government should back the creation of parking spots near the metro and urban railway stations as this would help boost the number of Athenians using public transport, at least for part of their daily commute.