Francesc Quetglas, Balearic Minister for Public Works.

The Balearics unveiled its first “à la carte” public bus service yesterday between Galilea and Puigpunyent. The new dial-a-public bus system operates depending on demand and people planning to use the bus have to book their seat by phone no later than 7pm the day before. The pioneering service was inaugurated by the Balearic Minister for Public Works, Francesc Quetglas, who explained that the travel-on-demand services will help to increase the use of public transport while having a minimum effect on the environment. While on the new routes there will be set services, should demand be particularly high on any given day, then services will obviously be increased. Quetglas said that a host of à la carte bus routes are being drawn up and the next ones to be brought into service will be between Manacor Hospital and Costitx, Capdepera Hospital and Cala Rajada. The innovative and sustainable bus services are also going to be introduced in Minorca with six routes planned in Mahón, San Luís, Alaior, Cala Morell, Cala Galdana and San Tomás, while seven services are to be unveiled in Ibiza and two in Formentera. Quetglas said yesterday that during the summer, just 5 per cent of people in the Balearics use public transport “but by introducing these new services in each of the islands, 25 per cent of the Balearics will be using public transport by the year 2066,” the Minister said. He was quick to point out however that the bus-on-demand services are not public taxi services. They will operate regular services, but only when needed. Passengers using the new services will pay exactly the same fare as public buses, even if they are the only passenger on the minibus. Quetglas said that environmental sustainability of the new services is also highly attractive, “it means that there no longer have to be large buses operating in rural areas with no one using them for most parts of the day.”