The Ministry of Transport of the Government of the Canary Islands and those responsible for the area in the councils will specify this week the minimum number of trips to grant the consideration of frequent traveler and thus access free transport in Canary Islandswhich is calculated between 15 and 20 validations.
This was stated this Monday by the first vice president of the council of Tenerife Y Mobility Minister, Enrique Arriagaduring a plenary session to address the actions that are being carried out so that the public companies TITSA and Metrotenerife can afford free transport from January 1, 2023.
The number of the minimum number of trips to achieve the consideration of frequent traveler will be specified in a meeting between the Ministry and councils scheduled for this Wednesday, the counselor has indicated in a statement.
The initiative that discounts 100% of the price of transport will affect the resident pass, youth pass, senior monthly pass and monthly pass for people with disabilities and in this way, as of January 1, current holders of any of these titles will automatically access the promotion when renewing your voucher.
On the other hand, those who have not previously had these titles will also be granted free of charge for the first month, although they must pay the costs of issuing the personalized card that is 5 eurossince the current holders paid them at the time.
Verification every month
At the end of each month it will be verified that the minimum number of trips stipulated to be considered a frequent traveler has been used and, if so, when the subscription is due to be renewed, the free fee will be applied again.
Nevertheless, In case of not reaching the stipulated number of validations, when renewing the subscription they must pay its current price, which ranges between 15 and 19 euros. according to the title.
The Minister of Mobility has assured that “a significant effort is being made to be able to assume the service and the increase in demand with guarantees” and has explained that an agreement has been reached with the Ministry that at the end of the first quarter the costs generated by this measure to the councils “and that are not covered by the endowment, clearly insufficient, of 81 million euros” will be analyzed.
Arriaga has encouraged all the political groups to show “their unanimous support for the negotiating position of the Cabildo, so that in the end the people of Tenerife do not end up bearing most of the cost of this measure but rather, as is the case with the train in the Peninsula, that cost is shared among all Spaniards”.
Vehicles and drivers
On the other hand, he explained that to guarantee the quality of the service “work is being done on two main edges: the availability of vehicles and drivers”.
Regarding the increase in the TITSA fleet, which will provide more trips to the lines with the highest demand, the Cabildo de Tenerife will allocate 88 million euros to launch the Renove 10 Plus Plan.
This initiative, which will go out to competition before the end of the year, will allow you to acquire 248 buses that not only increase the current fleet, but also renew those vehicles that are more than 10 years old, which are more polluting, consume more fuel and are more prone to breakdowns.
In addition, the Cabildo will receive this week the first vehicles of the consignment of 60 that will arrive in stages until the month of March and, from that moment, the second part of the reception will begin, which will last until December 2023 and that will provide the transport operator with another 60 buses.
To this, we must add the 45 buses acquired through a rental with the right to purchase, a method that has been used to expedite their incorporation into the fleet.
In this way, in the month of January TITSA will have 20 new vehicles that will be complemented with another 25 in the month of April.
But the increase in vehicles must be complemented with the improvement of the workforce and for this reason, the counselor continued, TITSA will recruit 230 people in one year, mostly drivers, with the largest hiring process ever carried out in the company.
As for Metrotenerife, the services will be reinforced during rush hour in order to cope with these peaks in demand and the rest of the day will continue its usual offer, since the available capacity is more than enough to face additional increases of passengers.
Enrique Arriaga has reiterated “the effort” of the government group to support public transport, which has led to a three-fold increase in the subsidies allocated by the Cabildo since the beginning of the mandate, going from 34 million euros in 2018 to 105 million euros in the 2023 budget bill.
In addition, he explained that this represents a growth in the next year’s budget of 45 millionin which the promotion of gratuity or any subsidy by the State has not yet been contemplated, which will have to be supplemented, nor does it include the cost of purchasing vehicles.