The railway and Metro are included in the free travel scheme. | Archive


The Balearic government vice-president and finance minister, Antoni Costa, said on Thursday that public transport will continue to be free in 2024. This will be for interurban buses, trains and Metro in Mallorca and for buses on the other islands. Palma buses are treated separately, and the town hall has said these won't be free.

He made the announcement despite the fact that the Spanish government has yet to confirm its subsidy. Costa explained that the full cost of providing free transport is around 43 million euros, a sum that the Balearic government cannot assume on its own. Although Madrid hasn't given a confirmation, the expectation is that the cabinet will approve funding, if not immediately then in the next few weeks.

A reason for the lack of clarity regarding free transport next year is that Pedro Sánchez and his government is having to extend the 2023 budget into 2024. Approval for this isn't due until the end of the month. As there will not be a new budget, there also won't be specific provision for transport subsidies of the kind that have applied in 2023. Costa added that a statement from Madrid guaranteeing funding for 2024 will be enough for now.

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The Balearic government has formally requested funding, and it is prepared to meet the cost of free transport if the forwarding of funds from Madrid is delayed. This is in fact how it has worked this year; the whole subsidy didn't just appear on the first of January.

The minister stressed that the Balearics want the same arrangement as the Canaries. Sánchez received the backing for his investiture as prime minister from the Coalición Canaria party on the express understanding that the Canaries would have free transport in 2024.

* Free travel in the Balearics is for residents with the necessary cards.