Greece’s Transport Ministry on Friday widely cancelled the summer holiday leave of workers at public transport means in Athens in order to increase the frequency of services and avoid the phenomena of overcrowding that have recently been observed.The decision follows also an outcry by passengers who complained about the reduced schedules that subsequently led to overcrowding and were moreover threatened with 150-euro fines if they would go onboard of the public transport means that had exceeded the capacity limit of 65%.
The cancellation of summer vacations affects staff on buses and trolleys buses, trains, tram and the metro system to ensure they can run more frequently.
According to an updated schedule released by OASA on Friday, metro trains on lines 2 and 3 of the Athens metro will now run every 6 minutes, while trains on line one will come every 7 minutes.
The new schedule also envisages more buses and trolleys on the road during peak hours, with additional measures if necessary.
The new schedules will go into effect on Saturday, August 1, 2020.
“The picture seen in recent days on public transport is a cause for concern for us all and the citizens’ complaints are justified,” Infrastructure and Transport Minister Costas Karamanlis said in an announcement.
According to the Minister, the staff’s summer leave will be limited to 20% during the month of August. Revoking of leave started on Thursday night, the Minister posted on social media.
• Από χτες το βράδυ ξεκίνησε ήδη ανάκληση αδειών του προσωπικού. Οι άδειες σε ΟΑΣΑ, ΣΤΑΣΥ και ΟΣΥ θα περιοριστούν στο 20% κατά τη διάρκεια του μηνός Αυγούστου. 3/8
— Κώστας Καραμανλής (@karamanlis_k) July 31, 2020
Traditionally Athens public transport is hell in the summer months of July and August for those without own transport means due to reduced schedules. Commuters are being grilled under the hot sun waiting for a bus to go to work or return home.
This year, the reduced schedules were implemented two weeks later on July 30 and not on July 15, due to the pandemic.
Still “unacceptable to have reduced schedules during these times,” commuters in Athens and Piraeus ruled.
PS Unfortunetaly, the Minister did not revoke this silly 150-euro fine decision.