The European Commission has approved a major investment of €29.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund that aims to modernize the urban transport ticketing in the wider metropolitan area of Athens. The available co financing will ensure putting in place an Integrated Electronic Ticket System related to the public means of transport operating under the competence of the Athens Urban Transport Organization Group (OASA). It includes metro, urban/suburban railway, buses, and tram.
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn who approved the project said, “This project represents an important step towards the modernization of Athens urban mobility system. It will facilitate the use of transport means by the Athens residents, its visitors and tourists. It is one of the “priority projects”, as identified by the Greek authorities in cooperation with the European Commission and considered vital for the quality of life and wellbeing of its citizens.”
The project involves electronic “smart cards”, replacing paper tickets. It will provide new validation and inspection equipment and modern entry/exit gates in the metro system. This investment, co-financed with EU structural funds and blended with private funding, will improve the operational efficiency of OASA management system, leading to the creation of a modern and effective Athens Urban Transport System.
The electronic ticketing project will offer a wide range of possibilities to OASA for the rationalization of pricing policies and new types of fares, combining geographical zones. It will entail the reduction of revenue losses due to fare evasion, while focusing on supporting and serving the passengers. It is a “priority project” providing citizens with more efficient and modern travel conditions.