Tenerife, the island that grows the most with an increase of 25.8%, followed by Gran Canaria, where they rise by 15.4%
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 20 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing of the Government of the Canary Islands has verified, with the help of the councilors, the good reception that the application in the archipelago of free public land transport has had, which came into force on January 1 and has supposed in its first month of operation to increase by 1.7 million the number of passengers who use the buses and the tram, that is, an increase of 19.77% with respect to the figures that were handled in December 2022, when applied the 50% discount on the ticket price.
These figures show the “enormous reception” that the application of this measure of economic savings for families has had among citizens in the face of the increase in the CPI as a consequence of the economic crisis generated by the war in Ukraine and the promotion of public transport to the detriment of of the private vehicle, as well as to promote the decarbonisation of mobility on the islands.
In addition, they exceed all the expectations that both the Regional Council and the councils had foreseen before their entry into force and thus continue the path undertaken last September, when the discount of 50% of the price of multi-trip cards came into force. of frequent travelers, which meant an increase in the number of users at that time close to 17%, collects a note from the Ministry.
With the figures for January 2023 already closed by councils and town halls, it is recorded that the greatest increase occurs on the island of Tenerife, with a 25.83% increase, and in Gran Canaria the increase is 15.40%.
On both islands, the most significant increases occurred in the two capitals, both in the Titsa service for the Santa Cruz de Tenerife area and in the Guaguas Municipales service for the municipality of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
In the rest of the islands there were also generalized increases, with special relevance in El Hierro, with 25.79% and in La Gomera there was also a significant increase of 18.49%.
In Fuerteventura the increase is 13.31%, La Palma registered 12.42% and Lanzarote 8.97%, although in this last island the data of the urban buses of Arrecife have yet to be incorporated.
PROTOCOL BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND COUNCILS
In order to apply the free public transport of buses and trams throughout the year 2023, a collaboration protocol was signed between the Government of the Canary Islands and the seven island councils on December 29 after several previous meetings organized by the councilor Sebastián Franquis with both the island corporations as well as the Ministry, to make effective the measure financed by the central Executive thanks to an amendment to the 2023 General State Budget (PGE) endowed with 81 million euros.
As Minister Franquis explained after the signing in December, the protocol establishes that the 81 million that the State will transfer and that are included in the amendment to the PGE be paid 80% to the councils in a first installment and that 20% remainder is done before June 30 of this year.
However, and if these 81 million are insufficient, it has been agreed with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda that, after the first quarter of application of the gratuity, its development is analyzed, it is verified if these resources are enough and, otherwise, more money is available from the central Administration.
According to all the studies and balances of the councils and the different transport operators, an average user of the Canarian Resident Bonus or multi-trip cards uses it between 60 and 65 times a month, and in this a minimum of 15 monthly trips has been set. in the previous month to be able to access the gratuity.
Free will be applied throughout 2023 to users of the Canarian Resident Bonus and other similar titles.
Exceptionally until February 28, as a transition period for users to process the Resident Voucher, the free use of other titles such as top-up cards or multi-trip vouchers is also allowed.