The Minister for Land, Energy and Mobility of the Balearic Islands, Marc Pons, and the Transport Officer of the City Council of Palma, Joan Ferrer, accompanied by the Director General of Transport of the Balearic Government, Jaume Mateu, have today weighed in for the first time on the first phase of the integrated fare system between EMT (Municipal Transport Company of Palma) and the metro, which began at the end of September.
The data shows that the integration has led to a significant increase in the number of metro users—26,124 more in October 2018 than in 2017 (up 17%)—while the EMT lines coinciding with the railway line saw a rise in users or a very slight drop.
Palma Metro transported 176,331 users last October, 26,123 more than in the same month in 2017 (when there were 150,208 users) in the Palma–UIB–Son Castelló line. Out of the total metro users in October, 21,565 (12%) used the City Council of Palma’s resident card.
The number of users of EMT line 19, whose route coincides with the metro’s, has fallen by 4,955. This means the increase in metro passengers after subtracting the EMT losses was 21,268. These 21,268 passengers are, therefore, new users that have not transferred from the bus. This figure is also very similar to the number of people that have used the resident card on the metro, a total of 21,565. The other EMT lines sharing the metro’s route, 10 and 11, have not lost any passengers and instead have increased their number by 21% and 6%, respectively.
In October, EMT transported 3,916,046 people, 6.89% more than in the same month in 2017, when 3,663,522 people chose the municipal company. ‘Ticketing integration is not taking users away from the EMT, in fact it’s the opposite. We are continuing to see an increase in passengers and we have noticed a modal transfer to the metro,’ said Ferrer, the Transport Officer. ‘The idea behind fare integration is to integrate the metro in the city transport network. Now we can say that we have begun to realise that objective.’
The Minister for Land, Energy and Mobility, Marc Pons, highlighted that the results of the beginning of the first ticketing integration phase show that the planning and joint efforts have yielded results and led to growth in the number of public transport users. ‘By integrating, we add to and encourage demand and the number of users,’ said Pons.
Pons noted that work is ongoing to complete the second phase, when the TIB card can be used on EMT, and €7.5 million has been earmarked to provide all buses (TIB, EMT and those on other islands) with the same card validation technology, with horizons set on full integration of all the islands.
Electrification of the train to Sa Pobla has seen a 19% increase of users
Minister Pons also stressed that public transport improvements have attracted more users, as demonstrated by the fare integration system and other examples ‘such as the electrification of the train to Sa Pobla’. Compared with October–mid November last year, the electrification of the Sa Pobla railway line has seen a 19.9% increase in the number of users.
This growth exceeds the increase seen across the rail network as a whole and, for example, it is 10 points higher than the increase in the number of users of the Inca line (9.4%).
The minister said improvements would continue in January when the upper age limit for young train, metro and interurban bus passengers will be increased from 26 to 30 for holders of the intermodal card, a measure that will benefit 8,000 users.
Children under 12 will also be able to travel free on TIB trains, metros and buses from January. Around 11,000 children are expected to benefit from this measure.