Standard fare on Athens public transport to go back up to 1.4 euros in 2016, ministry announces

Gazzetta team
Standard fare on Athens public transport to go back up to 1.4 euros in 2016, ministry announces
The standard adult fare on Athens public transport will go back up to 1.40 euros on January 1, 2016 - from 1.20 euros at present - but tickets will continue to be valid for only 70 minutes of travel, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Christos Spirtzis announced on Thursday.

He said the introduction of an electronic ticket on Athens public transport is now scheduled to begin on January 1, 2017.

The fare had been lowered to 1.20 euros in mid-2014 after the ticket duration was lowered from 90 minutes to 70 minutes of travel. The minister said an effort will be made to keep the cost of travel cards at current levels.

Spirtzis said that attempts will be made to speed up the introduction of electronic ticketing more quickly than announced - starting with buses - in order to allow a more flexible ticket system reflecting the distance travelled by each passenger. This would lead to a reduced fare for small distances and higher fares for longer distances. He also noted that the introduction of electronic tickets would help correct current distortions affecting the daily operation of the transport system, especially that of fare-dodging and fake tickets.

According to Deputy Transport Minister Panagiotis Sgouridis, the electronic tickets would help enhance social justice since "there are currently areas that paying for fare-dodgers through taxes without actually being served by public transport."

The ministers made the announcements at a ceremony to create three digital master keys for the system, which will act as a safeguard against attempted fraud. The creation of the three master keys allows the start of production of the microchips that smart e-tickets will come equipped with and the scanners that will read them, which will be installed on all Athens public transport as part of the automated fare collection system.