Palma.—The calculations of 252'000 passengers a year using the new electrified, fast and silent train service were forecast yesterday by the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce . Although they claimed at the same time that the prediction was “on the moderate side” the numbers are still only a third of the estimate given by the Balearic government in 2010 of 639'000 passengers per year.

The study takes into account that 5 percent of the residents of the municipalities of Manacor, Sant Llorenç, Son Servera and Arta will be daily users of the train servicethroughout the year, their point of departure and arrival being at any of the stations en route. This 5 percent of the resident population using the train accounts for 228'000 people.

There is a more optimistic scenario which calculates that a higher proportion of residents - up to 20 percent - will be using the daily service, but commentators have said that this is “unlikely.” The report by the Chamber of Commerce assesses that the majority of users will be those travelling to Manacor. If this were to be the case, then passenger predictions change. A spokesman said that if the resident population of the three municipalities - without including Manacor - travel five days a week in both directions all the year - in just one of the municipalities there will be 93'000 passengers or 374'000 in a more optimistic scenario.

The Chamber of Commerce also considered what impact the tourist population would have on annual passenger figures, but they were not nearly so optimistic as those produced by the Balearic government and related almost entirely to the holiday season months.

Optimistically, said the Chamber we could consider than 100 percent of the tourists which visit the four municipalities each year would use the train twice a week for return journeys. That would mean 47'000 passengers. This would drop to 23'000 if just 50 percent of the tourist population were to make use of it.