The Local Minister for Transport, Gabriel Vicens, has vowed that the metro will soon be open having been flooded several times over the last few weeks. Vicens warned, however, that the line would not be working to full capacity straight away as work is still being carried out on damaged stations.

Speaking at an induction ceremony yesterday for 32 new agents entering the Majorcan Railway Service (SFM), Vicens said that “soon we will be able to talk of getting the metro working”. He assured those present that it will be a matter of a few weeks before he presents the final report to his department concerning the recent floodings, which saw the service completely closed down at the end of September. “Many problems have been resolved”, stressed the Minister, who emphasised the necessity of the work on the structural damge of the line as the safety of the passengers is important above all else.

However, when the line does re-open, Vicens indicated that a number of stations which run along the line between the Plaça España in Palma to the Balearic University campus will remain closed, while other repairs will continue on the line, but around the timetable of the running trains.

The Minister's main job now is to assess which of the problems which are currently plaguing the line must be resolved before it is opened to customers again, and those which are able to be repaired at the same time as a running service. One example which is certain to be repaired is that of the partial collapse of the tunnel leading into the Son Castelló station, damage which does not allow the possibility of trains from passing safely along that part of the line. “The most important problems are those which concern waterproofing”, explained Vicens, who also announced yesterday that there will soon be a unified public transport tariff in Majorca which will be put in place next year, but which will exclude public transport in the capital, Palma. “I would like to integrate the modes of public transport”, Vicens stated, emphasising that the unification of the tariffs for inter-town buses, trains and the metro will signify a reduction in price of tickets, principally for longer-distance journeys.

Vicens explained these innovations to the media after presiding over a ceremony for SFM, which has been steadily building the number of its employees recently. In total, its workforce has increased by 17.2 percent and now has 218 workers at its disposal.

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