PALMA
THE new Balearic government has announced that it is making a clear change of direction during its new four-year term of office, with public transport funding becoming a major item on the agenda.

A spokesman for the Transport and Territory Planning department said yesterday that “this legislature is to be hallmarked by being known as The Age of the Train”. He claimed that the Socialist government, being led once more as it was during the 1999 to 2003 term of office, by Francesc Antich, will “leave no stone unturned” in its efforts to find funding to provide a quality public transport service and encourage people away from the option of simply purchasing more cars to get around the Islands. Referring specifically to Majorcan railways, the spokesman confirmed that the government is intending to extend the service from Sa Pobla, where the branch line currently terminates, in the direction of both Cala Ratjada and Alcudia. Authorities will also be looking at a modern tramway service to run across the Bay of Palma connecting the capital with the airport and other points along the coast. “We're confident this is the right decision” said a Transport deputy, asserting that the present government will throw its weight behind a policy of promoting public transport, which, he claimed, during the term of office of the previous Balearic Administration, had only limited support amongst politicians of the previous centre-right Partido Popular.

The deputy, on a visit to Majorcan railway factory installations at Son Rullan, said that the present government wants to introduce a “single ticket” system which will cover the cost of using a selection of public transport options. Those using train and bus services, for example, will have the cost of their journey covered by one ticket, integrating the tariff systems for travelling around Palma and cutting out the need to produce small amounts of cash for each separate journey.

The Transport deputy also said that the government is considering setting up a dual line system on the railway from Inca out to where the line currently separates into individual tracks in the direction of Manacor and further to the North, Sa Pobla. At the moment, there is only one track between Inca and the point of the branch line leaving the service more vulnerable to operational delays.

Free tickets on the metro, said the deputy, will definitely be continuing until September this year.

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