The final project, approved by the Board of Directors of the Transport Consortium on 26 March, incorporates some of the proposals put forward during the public participation process to which the draft project was submitted. In this way, public transport users, as well as bodies associated with the service, have been able to express their views and contribute to the final design of Mallorca’s future inter-urban public transport network. Each body will receive a response to its proposals. The final version of the project forms the basis for the bidding conditions of the tender for the new regular inter-urban transport services, to be introduced in 2019.
The public debate process came to a close on 19 January and by that date the Mallorca Transport Consortium (CTM) had received documents with proposals from a total of 24 bodies or individuals. The Municipal Councils, with 14 documents, make up the largest group, followed by regular transport companies, with 4 documents. The CTM also received 3 documents from business associations belonging to the transport or hotel & catering sectors, 2 documents from regular transport users and 1 from a user platform.
The Municipal Councils and users submitted specific requests, mainly relating to the provision of the service. A request was made to increase certain frequencies of service, to improve connectivity with health centres or schools, or to establish alternative stops for the new proposed routes. Of the 37 specific proposals submitted by Municipal Councils, changes have been incorporated in the final version of the project in 13 cases, whilst in 11 cases an explanation has been provided as to how the request had already been considered in the draft project. Some examples of the changes incorporated in the project are: new locations of stops in Inca, Portocolom and Andratx; services in response to the demand to connect the villages in El Pla with their corresponding hospital; and additional services for workers and students in Artà, Consell and Alaró.
Further to the document received from the hotel federation, the frequency of early-morning Sunday services has been increased to make it easier for workers to travel to Alcúdia Bay. The high season timetables for two routes serving the Serra de Tramuntana have also been extended: Port de Sóller – Port de Pollença and Alcúdia – Formentor.
Based on proposals put forward by different regular transport operators, certain changes have been incorporated in the final version of the project, including the following:
- Un update of the operating parameters and costs relating to the electromobility project. The minimum requirements are defined in relation to the electromobility in each batch.
- The introduction of a section on the promotion of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative to diesel. Agreements are being negotiated with CNG distributors to offer favourable conditions for operators who opt for gas.
- A significant number of the points submitted by the regular transport sector are not proposals as such, but requests for clarification on the cost structure submitted in the draft project. Consequently, the final version of the project contains further explanation of the cost structure.
The draft project for Mallorca’s new regular transport service contracts was submitted on 2 December with a view to restructuring and planning the new service due to come into operation in 2019. The current operating licenses expire on 31 December 2018 and this provides the opportunity to increase the current transport offer to suit the needs of the island, as well as modernising the bus fleet. The tender for the new services falls within the framework of the Regular Road Transport Service Plan for the Island of Mallorca (PISTRVC), the objective of which is to plan and organise the regular road transport service.
The final bidding conditions of the tender for Mallorca’s new regular road transport service contracts are due to be published in April. The bids will be submitted during the second quarter and the contracts awarded in the summer of this year.
Summary of the key themes set out in the new model:
1. Change in management
- There will be a contracting model that will enable the CTM (which is the contracting administration) to design the service offer directly, placing public interest before the purely financial interests which always guide the operator in terms of its risk and expense. This allows for the whole network to be designed in accordance with the same criteria applied to the region as a whole and to respond to the new mobility needs on the island.
2. Improvement of the offer
A better service: 51% more kilometres travelled and 53% more frequency
- The annual kilometres travelled will grow from 10.9 million to 16.5 million, representing a 51% increase on the current situation.
- Annual frequency will grow from 359,994 to 550,813, representing a 53% increase on the current situation.
- With the proposals, specific new services, routes in response to demand
Extended and consistent timetables
- In other words, the same timetables will apply all year round (supplemented in the summer) and will be extended to meet the needs of workers.
More direct routes to make the service more competitive with respect to private vehicles, amounting to time saving. Between 10 and 25 minutes can be saved depending on the case.
- Guaranteed connections with the creation of hubs, shared spaces where different public transport routes meet. The main hubs will be Palma, Inca, Manacor and Campos.
- New connections: 4 examples.
- A new connection for Sa Pobla and Muro with the Alcúdia Bay resorts (Platja d’Alcúdia, Platja de Muro and Can Picafort) with one bus an hour on average, from April to October. Designed for residents who are working or spending the summer in the resorts.
- A connection will be created between Manacor, Felanitx and Campos, which has not existed before, or there was very little offer. There will be an hourly connection.
- There will be a direct connection between the resorts of Santa Ponça and Peguera to the Serra de Tramuntana (Estellencs, Banyalbufar, Esporles and Valldemossa).
- There will also be a direct connection between Porreres and Llucmajor every two hours.
Sufficient bus capacity is guaranteed:
- There will be widespread use of vehicles with a greater capacity (15m and 18m) on routes with the highest demand. Most of the current fleet are 12-13m.
- There will be 145 new buses, out of a total of 218, with new buses representing 67% of the fleet: the average age will drop from 13.3 to 3.5 years.
Introduction of greener buses:
- Electric buses are being introduced. There are currently none in operation.
- Access to Compressed Natural Gas will be facilitated so that bidders can offer vehicles with this technology, which causes less pollution than diesel and is more economically viable based on a minimum number of vehicles. Negotiations are taking place with CNG distributors to facilitate this.
- The new diesel buses will have Euro 6 engines, causing far less pollution than the current buses.
- A significant portion of the fleet will be low-floor buses to facilitate access to passengers with reduced mobility. In fact, 62% of the fleet will be low-floor buses.
- Improvements to on-board communication, both visual (screens) and audio (PA system), will enable passengers with a visual or hearing impairment to know which stop they are approaching and to receive other information on the service.
New routes in the Serra de Tramuntana.