Contactless payments by debit or credit card are coming within the next year to upgrade travel in the Greek capital. Passengers will be able to open the gates of public transport using as a ticket… their debit or credit card, as is already the case in several European capitals. Athens Mass Transit System’s e-ticket will thus become even “smarter”, paving the way for Attica to enter the era of Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

The new feature of the system will allow passengers to go through the cancellation machines, “scanning” their card instead of the paper electronic ticket. To do this, discussions are already underway with the PPP project contractor managing the automatic fare collection system. One of the central issues in this negotiation is the charging by the companies that manage the automatic payment systems, but also the adaptation of the architecture of the existing system.

The intention of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is to close the contractual details and the contractual management, so that within the next year the new solution will be functional.

The new “smart” feature will also reduce the System’s operating costs from the use of the paper ticket, which although it allows recharging, passengers usually just use it and throw it away. The annual cost to the Transit System for the issuance of paper tickets amounts to about 5 million euros.

Steps for the transformation of urban transport

This step will also pave the way for the creation of an umbrella system under which Mobility as a Service services will run. This international trend, in which “smart” cities are investing, essentially enables users with a single reservation to choose a complete package of services, which may include the use of public transport, renting a bicycle or electric skate, and car sharing.

Meanwhile, the tender for the Strategic Transport Plan of Attica is under way, so as to place put the city’s public transport in the new era, to meet modern needs. The Board of Directors of the Athens Mass Transit System approved the draft declaration of open procedure for the elaboration of the study. The purpose of the new strategic plan will be to determine the demand for the means of transport of the capital, to assess the requirements of origin – destination, as well as to examine the new trends of urban transportation, such as micro-mobility and on-demand transportation.

The new study will also take into account, in addition to the significant changes that have taken place in the urban fabric over the last 15 years, the contribution of the large supply of a total of 1,300 new buses, the first phase of which is already beginning.

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