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Late-night trains a hit with Athenian youth February 12, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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More than 5,000 commuters used the metro and urban electric railway (ISAP) during the first weekend of extended nighttime service, metro officials said yesterday.

Most of the commuters using the service between midnight and 2 a.m. last Friday and Saturday were youngsters and many central stations including Syntagma Square, Omonia and Kerameikos, were buzzing with revelers.

Metro officials said they were “satisfied” with the turnout but expected it to increase considerably over the course of the two-month pilot program.

The crowds were much bigger than they had been during the Athens 2004 Olympics, when some 300 commuters used the metro and train service nightly. Last Saturday night, some 2,900 commuters boarded metros and trains.

It appears that many exploited the increased commotion to dodge their fares but ticket inspectors were out in force and penalized 50 fare-evaders in the first hour of the extended service alone. Every year some 30,000 passengers get fined for fare evasion on the metro.

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