The councils claim that the 50% discount on buses is extended in 2023, in order to maintain this measure over time and not be limited only to the last quarter of this year. Both the Cabildo of Tenerife and that of Gran Canaria will put their own funds next year to continue with the discounts on land transport bonuses, but the regional government would also have to contribute a part so that the bonus continues at 50%. The island corporations are awaiting the preparation of the general state budget for 2023 to find out if the central government intends to extend the bonus as it has done with other similar measures but, if not, they are in favor of the Canary administrations the funds are put in so as not to interrupt the discount on January 1, but to continue with its own financing.
For the Minister of Mobility of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Enrique Arriaga, “The important thing is not whether the bonus now reaches 60% or is 100%, but rather that it lasts beyond December 31 and that it extends throughout 2023.” Arriaga criticizes as “nonsense” that the regional government pretends that councils and town councils are the ones that put more money so that between September and December the bonus is increased: “it is not about transport becoming cheaper or free for four months, but rather that it has a significant reduction for a long time,” he said.
Arriaga assures that the Island Corporation will be able to add 10 million more next year from its budget to increase the subsidy on buses and the tram from 30 to 34% if the State does not maintain its contribution to 50%. For this reason, it asks the regional government to “put its shoulder to the wheel” and put the remaining 16% so that users of public land transport continue to benefit from half the price of the bonds throughout the year. For the island leader “the fight is not about more or less percentages now, it makes no sense that now there is free and in January pay again, such a measure is useless.”
The City Council of the capital of Gran Canaria continues with the idea of raising the aid with its own items
For its part, the Minister of Transport of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Miguel Ángel Pérez del Pino, pointed out that the Corporation is “favorable” to increasing the bonus to maintain the 50% discount in 2023 but is more cautious when specifying amounts until the central government and the Canarian government make a move with their respective budgets for the next year. In what the island leader is blunt is in the impossibility of increasing the subsidy to 100% in this four-month period because it would be contributing 40 million euros more than what the Cabildo and the State already put to reach 50% . «The Cabildo de Gran Canaria will maintain the same line of work in 2023 for public transport, increasing the funds as we have done since 2017, if there are more funds from the Canarian Government or the State in 2023 it would be very positive but we will have to wait to see how next year’s budgets are finalized”, he indicates.
The only corporation that maintains for now the intention to increase in this four-month period the bonus of the buses up to 60 or 65% is that of The Gran Canarian palms, although the details of it are still being finalized while awaiting negotiations between the Regional Executive’s Department of Transport and the Ministry to agree on the agreement between both administrations.
Pérez del Pino points out that the Cabildo already puts close to 24 million euros for bonus discounts. For this reason, although the Ministry’s funds arrive at the end of the year, “the Cabildo has enough backs” to assume the cost of the 50% increase from September 1 until the State transfers the amounts, which will be directly to the councils.
For his part, Arriaga is concerned about the “operational costs” that transport operators and local corporations will have to bear due to this State measure. Likewise, the fact that the protocol with the Ministry to apply the measure is signed on August 29, two days before its entry into force, also harms the operation of transport companies, which for the Tenerife councilor represents a « improvisation” of the Government that councils and municipalities now have to assume with new costs, personnel, buses, restructuring of lines, more capacity, etc. For this reason, he claims that the Canarian Government is “co-responsible” for a competence that has been transferred to the councils, although it is the Autonomous Community that negotiates the details of the protocol with the Ministry.