STAFF REPORTER

MADRID
PALMA is one of three cities in Spain where the cost of bus travel has gone up the most in 2009.
Consumer watchdog, Facua, reporting yesterday on a study that was carried out in 30 Spanish cities, said that the price differences across the country in this public transport sector can vary by as much as 163 percent. It pointed to Palma, Seville and Murcia as places where bus travel prices have been subject to the highest price rises this year. Facua didn't confine their research to examining the cost of single fares. They also analysed season ticket prices and the cost of travel using a citizen's card which can be “topped up” and employed for using more than one bus route in a single journey. Facua's findings across Spain revealed that the cost of city bus travel has gone up by 8.2 percent this year, a figure they claim is “five times” higher than inflation. Facua wants to see city councils across Spain consulting with consumer associations in their decisions affecting quality and tariffs for bus travel. The watchdog is also encouraging consumer association representation on the management board of bus companies to stop price rises going up too far above inflation rate as has happened this year.

Looking at single fares only, Palma (1.25 euros), Granada and Seville (1.20 euros) and Gijón and Cordoba (1.10 euros) are the Spanish cities where tariffs have gone up the most in comparison with 2008. For single fares, 22 of the 30 cities studied had put their price up above the inflation rate.

Analysing the differential in cost of the monthly season tickets which are available in 14 of the 30 cities researched, the average cost was 32.93 euros but varied by as much as 163 percent from one city to another. The most expensive was Barcelona (47.9 euros), and the cheapest was Salamanca, only 18.2 euros.

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