Public transport discount: half-price monthly and quarterly tickets, 30% discount on 10-journey tickets
ATM agrees to discount proposed by the State from September to January but expresses doubts about how they will be paid for
BarcelonaThe drastic discount in ticket prices will be felt – positively – by commuters' pockets, but also – and clearly negatively – by the public transport system's coffers. The Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM) has approved this afternoon to halve the price of most transport tickets from September 1 to December 31. Thus, T-Usual and T-Jove monthly and quarterly tickets will be half price and T-Casual 10-journey tickets will cost 30% less. The price of tickets for single-parent or large families and the unemployed, which already enjoyed a discount, will also be halved, as will Berguedà and Ripollès packs.
This will mean a T-Usual for one zone will drop from €40 to €20, a two-zones ticket will be under €27, and a six-zone ticket will cost under €57 (see graph). The T-Jove for one and two zones, the most used by students, will cost €40 and €52.60 euros respectively, and the T-Casual, the 10-trip ticket, will cost under €8 for one zone and under 16 if travelling in two zones.
These sudden reductions in the middle of the year were not, however, the ATM's idea. The discounts come after the Spanish government passed a new bill with measures to tackle the energy crisis which also devotes a chapter to transport. The text invited regions to discount public transport for four months (from September to December) to help consumers: the State undertakes to pay up to 30% of these discounts and regions and local councils who want to extend the bonus up to 50% –that is to say up to half price– can do so with their own resources
"It was an all or nothing proposal, because if you don't apply 30% to all tickets you are not entitled to the state contribution", explained the director of the ATM, Pere Torres. Thus, the Catalan administrations that are members of the ATM consortium have decided to apply the 30% rebate to all titles and also to extend it to 50% in all cases except for the T-Casual, which remains at a 30% rebate. The reason for this difference is that the ATM considers that it is necessary to promote "the use of season tickets that encourage more frequent use of public transport" and the T-Casual is designed for infrequent passengers. The T-Familiar, the T-Grup or the T-Dia will be excluded from any discount and therefore the price will remain the same. There will also be no discounts on other tickets (except for Renfe's own tickets, because the Spanish government has already decided to make them free of charge). In the case of the metropolitan area, the pink travel card T-4, for pensioners, will be cut from €4 to €2.
As the reduction is ephemeral - it lasts only four months according to the bill - the new tickets (which can be purchased directly from the machines from September 1) will expire on January 15. "We only 15 days' time to finish using the ticket, because to extend it more would suppose an additional cost for the ATM", Torres has argued, who assures that the reduction arrives in a very delicate moment for the public transport system. Even so, if any user has bought tickets in advance, without a discount, and has not used them, they will be able to keep them and exchange them in January, to use them during 2023.