Athens public transport furthers efforts to improve service and boost revenue
Ticket revenue is rising and system upgrades are being rolled out, although fare evasion remains high

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OASA (Athens Urban Transport Organization), the body providing most public transport services in Athens, Greece released new data revealing revenue numbers and service upgrades.

Bus and trolley ticket revenues totalled €94 million in 2018. This is more than in 2017 (€82 million ) and 2016 (€87 million), though less than in 2015 (€97 million) or 2014 (€117 million).

Metro, Tram and ISAP electric railaway ticket revenues totalled €130 million in 2018, in contrast to €90 million the previous year. In 2014 ticket revenues were at €129 million.

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Upgrades are rolled out in a bid to improve customer service and waiting times. 100 new automatic ticket issuing machines and 12 new card issuing terminals will be introduced in the coming months.

OASA also installed three new ticket vending offices which help to generate an additional €1.5 m extra per month (22% more than in December 2019).

Fare evasion remains an issue. According to some media sources, 1 in 20 passengers travelled without a valid ticket in 2019. In 2016, fare evasion on busses was as high as 80%.

Since a few years, the Metro uses full height fare gates to control passenger access at all its stations. Also, bus drivers enforce a front-door boarding policy, which helped to curb down fraud and optimise passenger movement.

OASA conducted multiple ticket inspections in the past years. In a recent crackdown on fare dodgers in October 2019, inspectors made 340,950 ticket checks and wrote down 6.911 fines.

A fine in Athens costs 60 times the price of a ticket which is € 1.40.

Security and fare collection important to customers

A recent survey conducted by OASA on 2.000 passengers riding Athens public transport found that:

  • 55.7% believe that a majority of passengers do not pay for their tickets
  • 70.7% believe there should be more ticket inspections
  • 83.1% believe that fare evasion is a problem to be tackled
  • 63% believe that each passenger on busses should be checked for tickets
  • 72.2% responded they have not boarded a public transport vehicle in the last year without paying
  • Participants were asked how they felt when seeing a passenger dodge fares: 51.4% felt annoyance, 42.6% frustration, 32.1% anger, 20.4% understanding, 20.2% nothing, 19% pessimism, 17.2% regret, 15.5% dislike, 7% solidarity, 2.7% surprise, 1.4% joy and 1.2% optimism
  • 71.5% believe fare gates should be put under surveillance

OASA, the main public transport company in Athens, provides Metro, Tram and ISAP electric railway services through the company STASY, and bus transport services through the company OSY.

The Athens Metro runs 3 lines and employs 387 staff. The Tram network has 48 stations and employs 345 staff, with average daily ridership of 65.000.

OSY runs a fleet of 1.800 buses on 300 lines, and employs 5.327 staff.

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