by Staff Reporter

PALMA
GABRIEL Vicens, the Balearic minister for mobility and planning, said that the single ticket valid for all forms of public transport should be operational towards the end of September.

He added that the government did not want to hurry the introduction, preferring to make sure that it was working properly beforehand.
Vicens was speaking at a press conference after a visit to the new transport hub beneath the Plaza España by Balearic leader Francesc Antich.
Vicens commented on the difficulties which his department is encountering in bringing the times of buses, trains and the metro into line.
As to the price of the single ticket, he declined to give any amount, although he did stress that it would be “affordable,” as the government wants to promote public transport.

Vicens also spoke about the traffic control centre which will be operational in the transport hub “in a relatively short time, possibly next month.” The centre will computerise many operations which now have to be done manually.
He added that the hub would act as the link between train, metro and regular bus service “as well as any other system which may be introduced later.” Vicens went on to say that the period during which the metro is free, declared by the previous ministry headed by Mabel Cabrer, was due to difficulties in introducing the system for collecting fares, not an interest in promoting its use. “The system for collecting fares does not work. It has not been introduced and there are many problems to introduce it.” Vicens also referred to the bus station which should be finished in the first fortnight of September, and will be fully operational by the end of the year.

He was critical of the metro, saying it had been started “in a very improvised manner, and in a hurry” which has caused a series of deficiencies which his department is now trying to solve.

There are no specific sheds for repairing the trains, which have to be transported to Son Rul.lan “with one diesel engine in front and one at the back.” He also spoke of staff shortages saying that no extra workers had been taken on for the metro, so that staff are working overtime or double shifts “which is not advisable.” All these questions will be solved very soon, Vicens said.

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