New fares for 2024 will not now be implemented. | Europa Press


On Thursday, Palma's mobility councillor, Antonio Deudero, announced that travel on EMT buses in 2024 will be free after all.

With the Spanish government having approved funding for Balearic public transport on Wednesday, Palma was out on a limb, Deudero having twice made clear that there wouldn't be free travel (in September and at the start of December).

The initial town hall response to the Spanish government's approval was to say that the small print needed to be studied. The implication was that there would be no immediate change of heart. But there has been.

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Deudero said on Thursday that two scenarios had been worked on. One of these was that there was no subsidy, in which case new fares would have to be established. The other, "much more automatic and simple", was the extension of the subsidy. Free travel on EMT buses from January 1 will therefore be applied immediately.

The councillor continued to insist that the funding for Palma was insufficient. He quoted a figure of 20 million euros, but then added that it should be 26.3 million and that EMT will have to spend 7.3 million euros of its own money to cover the shortfall. On top of what has been spent this year, he reckoned that EMT would be out of pocket by around 15 million euros.

He explained that the gap was due to a greatly increased number of passengers. "From January to September 2022 we had 27 million passengers, while for the same months of this year there were 39 million, an increase of 40 per cent."