Introduced in October 2017, the new ticketing system has been in preparation for years now and after setbacks and delays, it finally launched. Under this new electronic scheme, three new tickets have been introduced: the Ath.ena ticket, a paper rechargeable ticket, which can be used for up to one year after purchase or until it is worn out, the anonymous Ath.ena card, a plastic rechargeable ticket, and finally, the personalized Ath.ena card, similar to the anonymous card except that they bear the cardholder’s photo and name. These two plastic cards can last up to 10 years.
So far, so good, but let’s look at each specific card.
The Ath.ena ticket
As we mentioned earlier, the Ath.ena ticket is a paper ticket that you can recharge as many times as you want, as long as the ticket is in good condition. This ticket can be charged with products such as a regular one-way ticket and a 24-hour or five-day ticket. Ticket can be purchased and recharged at any automatic machine and ticket office.
The anonymous Ath.ena card
The anonymous card is a plastic card that can be used over and over again and charged with the same products as the Ath.ena ticket, yet the initial charge must cost at least €4.50. Though you can only buy it in ticket offices, the anonymous card can be recharged in automatic machines as well. One thing to remember is that you cannot recharge any half-priced products to an anonymous card.
The personalized Ath.ena card
The personalized card is a plastic rechargeable card that includes the passenger’s photo and name. It can be charged with all transport products varying from a single trip ticket to 365-day tickets. These cards are issued in many ticket offices, but not all of them, and require an ID card/passport and AMKA certificate for Greek citizens. These cards can be charged at ticket offices, machines and even online via a smartphone or tablet.
Now, for those staying in Athens for short-term periods, the tourist ticket (€22), valid for three days, is ideal. It includes a round trip from/to Athens International Airport by metro or express bus as well as unlimited travel on all transportation modes for three days (72 hours after the first validation), including the bus line X80. If you plan to stay in Athens for longer, then a separate airport transfer ticket is best (whether you’re taking the bus or metro). If you are using public transport every day, the five-day ticket (€9) might be best, but if you don’t, the 24-hour ticket (€4.50) for the days you do use public transport is recommended.
Using your card or ticket is easy peasy! All you have to do is validate it by swiping your card/ticket on the card readers installed in bus, trolleys, trams and metro gates. Use the readers to also find out how many remaining tickets you have. And there you have it. Here’s everything you need to know about the new public transport electronic cards. Want to know more? Visit AthensTransport.com.