Athens public transport: 'Smart cards' to replace paper tickets in 2017

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Athens public transport: 'Smart cards' to replace paper tickets in 2017A 'smart card' will replace the current paper tickets on Athens public transport, starting in early 2017

A 'smart card' will replace the current paper tickets on Athens public transport, starting in early 2017, allowing passengers to be charged according to the distance travelled for the first time, the head of the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) Tasos Tastanis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Monday.

Tastanis said the new system will allow zone-based charges, with passengers swiping their card across a special card reader to be installed on the metro system, buses, trolley buses and trams. The 'smart card' can be topped up with money using credit cards, the internet and ticket booths, with the correct fare charged each time the card is swiped over a public transport reader. In addition to cards, OASA will sell new paper tickets that incorporate a small circuit and operate in the same way as the card.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was the first person to make symbolic use of a 'smart card' during his visit to the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday, where he passed through a demonstration gate of the type to be installed in the Athens metro while visiting the OASA pavilion.

Tastanis said the installation of the new system would start in early 2017, while the paper tickets would be gradually phased out, while card readers will be installed in the metro system by next summer. This would greatly help reduce fare-dodging, while also creating savings by eliminating the cost of printing paper tickets, he said. The system would also allow OASA to set up a new fare policy and new products, such as weekly cards, family cards, and an easier system for occasional clients and tourists.

It will also help improve transport planning based on real needs and improve the distribution of revenues between transport agencies.

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

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