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Athens bus tickets sales rise after scheme blocks free riders

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Athens bus tickets sales rise after scheme blocks free riders
Passengers board a bus from the front door in central Athens, Greece, August 30, 2018. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis   -   Copyright  ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS(Reuters)
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ATHENS (Reuters) – Ticket revenues from buses in the Greek capital surged by up to 25 percent in the past month after the state-run operator clamped down on free riders by only letting passengers get on at the front.

Greek public transport operator OASA previously estimated that one in three bus passengers sneaked in through the back doors and dodged the few inspectors on duty.

“We hadn’t been optimistic that it (the front-door entry) would have been fully adopted. But it definitely beat our expectations,” said Georgios Glykos, head of the Athens bus operator OSY.

Preliminary results of a survey after front-only access was introduced in July show that 14 percent of passengers still manage to hop on for a free ride, a source from the operator told Reuters.

About a quarter of Athens’ 4 million residents use its public transport system every day, statistics show.

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, editing by Andrei Khalip)

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