Five large cities will take up to 50% discount on government transport | Economy

Only five of the 17 large cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants have so far decided to extend the universal bonuses launched by the Government of Pedro Sánchez. Apart from the 100% Renfe discounts on Cercanías and Media Distancia, the central Executive will subsidize 30% of the urban metro and bus. Those responsible for the service must decide whether to extend this aid to 50%. Madrid, Palma, Bilbao, Córdoba and Vitoria have announced that they will do so. Four other cities (Barcelona, ​​Seville, L’Hospitalet and Malaga) will also offer a greater discount, but to vulnerable groups such as the unemployed, young people, pensioners or single-parent or large families, while the Valencian Community had already invested 20 million before the announcement of Sanchez.

The Executive of Pedro Sánchez has made a fund of 221 million euros available to the autonomies to finance that 30%, although the PP communities doubt that this amount is sufficient. “These measures are intended not only to promote public transport as a means of travel, but also to help the middle classes and workers, those people who use it to go to work or study,” the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, recently explained. . The discount, affects the Government, will be “compatible and cumulative with any other subsidy or aid” that is already granted to users of collective transport. In addition, there will be no cap, although so far the maximum reached has been 50% of the price of the subscriptions that Pedro Sánchez suggested. What is left out in all cases are single trips or round trips.

Among towns with 250,000 inhabitants (Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Malaga, Murcia, Palma, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Bilbao, Alicante, Córdoba, Valladolid, Vigo, Gijón, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Vitoria), five have decided that they will cover up to 50% universally. Another four will also contribute to expand the aid, but not for all its citizens: Barcelona, ​​L’Hospitalet, Seville and Malaga. The first two limit the discount to monthly and quarterly subscriptions for those under 25 years of age, the unemployed, and single-parent and large families; Seville will only target users with the social and youth cards, and in Malaga it will be extended to 35% or 40%. The rest of the big cities remain only under the umbrella of the state subsidy. For different reasons: some say that they are already applying discounts, such as the Valencian Community, and others recall that the maintenance of public transport already constitutes a voluminous aid. These are the discounts that will be applied in the last four months of the year in the 17 cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants in Spain:


The president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced last Monday that she will reduce transport bonds by 50%. The regional government had ruled out doing so and criticized that the allocation allocated by the Government would be insufficient. However, this week she has rectified and announced that she will complete the 30% aid borne by the central Executive. Monthly subscriptions for the elderly will cost 1.60 euros; cards for young people 10 euros, while tickets by zones will cost 27.30 euros (zone A), 31.8 (zone B1), 36 euros (zone B2) and 41 euros (zone B3 and C1/C2).

Barcelona and L’Hospitalet de Llobregat

In the cases of Barcelona and L’Hospitalet, which make up the Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM), there will be a supplement to the Government bonus, but it will not be universal. The 50% discount will be applied to monthly (T-usual) and quarterly subscriptions for young people under 25 (T-Jove). Titles for single-parent and large families and for unemployed people will also benefit from this supplement. The discount financed by the ATM will not be applied and only the individual 10-trip T-Casual cards will have a 30% discount.

Valencia and Alicante

The Valencian Administrations have decided that they will not complement the 30% discount provided by the Government for metropolitan transport. In his case, he says that he had already done it previously: in January he launched a new system that represents savings of between 11% and 55% on tickets. In these measures, the Generalitat has invested 20 million euros. Among other measures, the rate for public transport dependent only on the Generalitat (Metrovalencia, Tram, MetroBus and metropolitan buses) was lowered by 50% and the rate zones were reduced from four to two, so that the cheapest now includes 90 % of trips. In Alicante, the reduction of zones, from six to three, was launched in mid-June and led to savings of up to 50% on tickets, depending on origin and destination. In addition, from May 1 to the end of August, Metrovalencia, the TRAM in Alicante and the TRAM in Castelló have been completely free on Sundays.


In Andalusia, the Board will not contribute its own funds to increase the discount on the price of metropolitan buses and subways, so it will remain at 30% in most of the region with exceptions, according to sources from the regional Executive. This is what will happen, for example, in the capital. In Seville there will be no increase in the discount except for specific groups: for users who have the social and youth cards, already discounted at 50%.


In Zaragoza, the bonus will remain at the 30% that the Sánchez Executive subsidizes. “We have regulated to apply the 30% discount,” confirm sources from the regional government. And the City Council, for its part, will not expand it either. In addition, he criticizes that it is the municipal coffers that have to advance the government aid money. “To the cost of the service, another 5.4 million euros must be added, which, initially, the City Council must assume,” explains the corporation in a statement. Between September 1 and December 31, the trip on the multi-trip card (Bus, Citizen, Lazo Card) will cost 0.53 euros compared to the current 0.76. And the rest of subscriptions and subsidized subscriptions (unemployed, large family, youth card, etc.) will also have a 30% discount.


In Malaga, urban transport will drop between 35% and 40% from September, as announced by the city’s mayor, Francisco de la Torre. Current prices for public transport in the city are 8.40 euros for a 10-trip pass, which will cost 5.50 euros. The monthly card will drop from 39.95 euros to 25.95 euros. And the student one, from 27 euros to 17 euros. For pensioners there are different modalities, depending on purchasing power, ranging from 27 euros to 10 euros, which will cost between 17 euros and 5.95 euros respectively.


Murcia is another of the cities where the bonus will be 30%. But there are nuances: the Region of Murcia has announced that it will maintain that percentage of discount on regional competition transport beyond December 31 at the expense of regional budgets. “If we want them to be really effective, they have to be extended over time because the difficult economic situation is not going to end in December,” added sources from the Murcia government.


Palma is one of those that will experience a greater discount: the City Council will bear the cost of transport by bus and the Govern that of the train and the metro to extend the bonus from 30% to 50%. The mayor of Palma, José Hila, explained a few days ago that it will reach all types of subscriptions (those with 20 and 50 trips per month and unlimited). Municipalities that have an agreement with the Municipal Transport Company of Palma de Mallorca (EMT) may benefit from the discount. Subscriptions will cost, for example, 6.50 euros for 20 trips per month for residents (now they cost 13 euros), 14.50 euros for 50 trips (now 29 euros) and 18.50 euros per month for the unlimited travel card for residents (until now 37 euros), among others. A 50% discount will also be applied to the bus service of the intercity public transport network of the Balearic Islands during the same period.

A passenger boards a bus in Palma (Mallorca), on Tuesday.
A passenger boards a bus in Palma (Mallorca), on Tuesday. FRANCISCO UBILLA

the palms

In Las Palmas there will be no greater discount borne by the local or regional Administrations. However, a debate has been opened on whether it would not be worthwhile for the central government to pay more in the case of the islands, since they will not be able to benefit from other measures as the rest of the country will. In fact, the announcement of the 100% bonus for Cercanías trains on the Peninsula sparked protests in the Canarian parliamentary arch, which considers it discriminatory as there is no rail transport on the islands. The regional executive chaired by the socialist Ángel Víctor Torres, with the support of Nueva Canarias, Unidas Podemos and Agrupación Socialista Gomera, has tried to pressure Sánchez to achieve an increase in aid in the buses and the tram. After Moncloa’s refusal, Torres asked the municipalities and councils to “put their shoulders to the wheel”, something that the president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, branded as “unacceptable”.

Bilbao and Vitoria

Bilbao and Vitoria will have a 50% discount on all municipal public transport and also on those that are public but not under municipal jurisdiction (metro and tram). “In Bizkaia we have a Transport Consortium where the Provincial Council, the Bilbao City Council and some other city council with a large population are located, and there it was decided that, as in Bilbao, it would be done with all public transport”, sources from the Consistory assure . The same thing happens in Vitoria: the urban transport that depends on your city council extends the discount up to 50% of the price. “The Government of Spain puts 30% and the rest between the City Council and the regional government,” explain municipal sources. In fact, for the Basque Country as a whole, in transport under regional authority managed by the Basque government (tram and interterritorial service) the subsidy will also be 50%.

The Vitoria tram stopped at the Hegoalde stop, in the south of the city, in a file image.
The Vitoria tram stopped at the Hegoalde stop, in the south of the city, in a file image.David Aguilar (EFE)


The Córdoba City Council is another of the four that will add a 20% discount to the 30% announced by the Government. The Consistory will put 570,000 euros so that the monthly bus pass costs 16.5 euros instead of 33 euros. That yes, in the transport that depends on the Junta de Andalucía, this discount will not be applied, so it will remain at 30%.


Valladolid City Council announced in mid-July that bus transport in the city will have a general discount of 30%, which is provided by the Government of Spain, between September 1 and December 31. In this way, it does not contribute its own funds, at least not for the moment, and has called on the Junta de Castilla y León to make an effort to increase the aid. Even the mayor of the city, Óscar Puente, sent a letter to the regional president, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, asking him to extend the discount. At the moment, the regional Executive says that it is studying this option.


Vigo will not complement the Government discount considering that it is already subsidizing public transport in a structural way. For this reason, the city has asked the Xunta de Galicia to finance another 20% to complete the 30% state bonus. “Vigo already subsidized urban public transport before the measure launched by the Government of Spain and will continue to do so after December 31,” municipal sources say.


The Government of the Principality will carry out, from September 1, discounts on monthly transport passes and on 10-trip tickets that will benefit, above all, residents in rural areas and the wings of the region. At the moment it is unknown if they will reach the 50% level universally or if it will be restricted to some groups. According to sources from the Principality, this week more details will be given, although they anticipate that they will collaborate to exceed the 30% proposed by the Executive.

With information from Mary Fabra (Valencia), Javier Martin-Arroyo (Seville), nacho sanchez (Malaga), William Vega (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) and John Navarro (Valladolid).

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