THE Balearic government plans to approve its ambitious transport master plan, which calls for more than 2'000 million euros, in July. It includes new train routes, and improvements to land, sea and air transport.
After being debated by the government, the plan will be posted for public inspection for a period of two months, during which objections can be lodged.
Improvements to the train service will take the largest slice of the budget under the new master plan.
The service will be extended with new lines from Llucmajor to Santanyi via Campos, from Manacor to Cala Rajada, Inca to Alcudia, the centre of Palma to the University and a tram link around the bay, from Calvia to Arenal.
This section of the master plan also includes the massive depot for trains and coaches, which has already been approved by the Palma city council and the Balearic government and will be built in Plaza España. Work is due to start before the end of the year.
As to coach transport, the government plans to build more stops and finance routes which are currently running at a loss. The public works ministry is also planning more shuttle services between towns and villages and the nearest railway station. This service, introduced just over a year ago, has proved to be very popular.
Cyclists have also been taken into consideration, and the master plan includes the cycle tourism route created by the tourism ministry, which links 17 municipalities and covers 235 kilometres. According to the government, some 70'000 cyclists a year visit the island.
As for sea transport, the government plans to improve the passenger terminals at the ports over which it has jurisdiction. This includes Sant Antoni and Santa Eulalia in Ibiza and Ciutadella in Minorca, among others. The service between Ibiza and Formentera will also be increased, especially during the winter.
Finally, the proposals for air transport include a request for the discount for residents to be increased from 33 to 50 percent.
This is the only part of the master plan for transport which will have to be financed with money from central government, although the Balearic government is also hoping for state aid for the new railway lines.
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