The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) has provisionally granted 256.5 million euros in aid to the autonomous communities and cities and local entities to finance the 30% discount on the price of public transport for regular travellers.
The aim is to promote the use of this more sustainable mode of transport, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and help ease the burden on citizens’ pockets in the face of rising prices.
The amount of the subsidies exceed 56.5 million euros. In total, 164 million euros correspond to the autonomous communities and 92.5 million euros to the 181 local entities that have committed to applying the discounts. Thanks to this budgetary effort, the 30% reduction in the price of season tickets and multi-journey tickets for land public transport services under their jurisdiction can be compensated between 1 September and 31 December 2022.
In the case of the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, direct state aid will finance a 50% discount on season tickets and multi-journey tickets for public land transport in Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera; a 50% discount on public road transport in Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera; and free rail service in Mallorca for recurrent users. The Government agreed to reinforce the discounts given the special characteristics that insularity implies and the need to articulate policies to favour equality between the citizens of the islands and the mainland.
The 30% reduction in the price of regional and local public transport for frequent users is part of a more ambitious measure promoted by the Ministry to encourage the use of public transport and help citizens. Thus, it also finances a 50% discount on season tickets and multi-journey tickets on intercity bus lines until 31 December, free travel on Cercanías and conventional Media Distancia trains for regular users, and a 50% reduction in Avant season tickets and AVE routes of less than 100 minutes. With a view to 2023, it has already been approved to extend the free travel and discounts on rail transport operated by Renfe, without prejudice to other possible additional measures.
Boosting collective public transport
The measure responds to the need to encourage the role of collective public transport to tackle the current scenario of high energy and fuel prices, which particularly affects the daily mobility of citizens, encouraging a change to a safer, more reliable, comfortable, economical and sustainable means of transport than the private vehicle.
Collective public transport is an essential, reliable, socially fairer, more inclusive mode of transport, with a high positive impact on the economy and industry. It is also a key factor in achieving the climate, emission reduction and accident reduction targets that we have set ourselves as a society.
According to estimates by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), for each journey from the private vehicle to public transport, an average of 60% to 74% of CO2 emissions are saved if the bus is used, and between 73% and 80% if the journey is made by metro or rail.
On the other hand, as far as accidents are concerned, the statistics show that the bus is the safest means of transport when travelling by road. Thus, the fatality rate on interurban roads is 3 to 4 times lower for buses than for cars, not to mention the potential of rail transport in this area.
Prioritising the use of public transport also helps to reduce traffic congestion, make more efficient use of public space and improve air quality in cities.