Commuters in Athens will have to abide by a new set of compulsory rules when traveling on public transportation, to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, according to the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA).
Starting from Monday, May 4, when Greece’s lockdown begins to ease, face masks must be worn when traveling on the metro, trains, buses, trolleys and tram. Passengers must also maintain social distancing at all times to avoid overcrowding when traveling on means of public transport.
Drivers and other public transport staff are also required to wear a face mask.
Aiming to avoid overcrowding on public transportation, OASA will increase the frequency of all itineraries for the smooth and safe movement of commuters.
More specifically, metro (lines 2 and 3) and ISAP electric railway (line 1) trains will run every 6 minutes and the tram will run every 8 minutes.
In the coming days, more buses and trolleys will be in circulation in Athens, exceeding 1,000 vehicles from 550.
OASA said that if necessary, there may be additional interventions, depending on needs.
To ascertain safe distancing measures are being followed, the organization will be carrying out frequent checks at metro and train station entrance points, as well as when commuters board vehicles.
OASA advises for commuters to top up their personalized rechargeable cards (ΑΤΗ.ΕΝΑ cards) online rather than wait in queues at ticket counters.
The use of elevators at metro and train stations will be prohibited, except by people with severe mobility problems. Also, commuters are not allowed to enter buses and trolleys from the first door.
Moreover, OASA said that the disinfection of stations, trains and vehicles continues regularly.
In the near future, the organization will launch an information campaign for the public about the new mandatory hygiene and precautionary measures against the coronavirus.
In addition, when speaking to the media on Thursday, Greek Transport Minister Costas Karamanlis said that “Passenger Assistants” will be on call at metro stations to advice and instruct commuters on the new rules when traveling on public transportation.