By Maria Gregoriou
BUS FARES went up yesterday, with a one-way ticket now costing €1.50, up from €1, a one day ticket for multiple routes €5 instead of €3, a weekly ticket €15 (€10) and a monthly ticket €40, up from €30.
University and school students and pensioners are allowed a 50 per cent discount on these prices. Until yesterday these groups had been able to travel for free.
“This increase was necessary because of high running costs of the public transport system. A part of these costs, at least, will be covered by the increases in bus fares, which was covered by the government until now,” Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos said yesterday.
Mitsopoulos also mentioned that changes have been made to routes which have been proven to be more successful and profitable.
“We are trying to support these routes,” Mitsopoulos added.
The left-wing youth movement, EDON, released a statement yesterday expressing disappointment at the communications ministry’s decision to charge school students, university students and pensioners for bus fares.
“We find this ‘we decide and we order’ attitude of the government unacceptable. Without informing or consulting anyone the ministry just decided to charge students and pensioners,” the statement said.
This decision is a massive blow to public transport. Free transport for students was a pioneering and radical measure, with multiple benefits to society, the environment, traffic congestion, road safety and to the way of life in general, the statement added.
The statement ended by asking for Mitsopoulos to meet with all stakeholders to discuss the issue.