Collboni afirma que el gobierno municipal de Barcelona está decidido a reducir las tarifas del transporte público.

Jaume Collboni, the mayor of Barcelona, stated on Friday that the intention of the Barcelona City Council is to continue granting discounts on metro, bus, and other forms of public transportation in the metropolitan area, as long as it is within the council’s jurisdiction. As reported by EL PAÍS on Friday, the Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM), which is majority-owned by the Generalitat and includes the Barcelona City Council and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, will propose an average increase of 6.75% for transportation fares next year.

This price hike comes after years of fare freezes and while a 50% discount is currently in effect for metropolitan transportation, with 30% being funded by the Ministry of Transport and 20% by the autonomous communities. In the case of Catalonia, the shared responsibility for this discount is assumed by the members of the ATM, and the budget for the Barcelona City Council in 2024 includes a provision for this purpose. However, the municipal accounts have not yet been approved. In his inauguration speech, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that public transportation would be free for certain groups in 2024, but the specifics of this measure, such as which modes of transportation or which groups of individuals it will apply to, are still pending clarification.

When asked about the revealed increase during the presentation of the 2023 financial report and the forecasts for 2024 by Fira de Barcelona, Collboni stated that the decisions regarding fare rates should be made within the ATM board of directors. He emphasized that the Barcelona City Council’s budget for 2024 includes funding to guarantee the discounts corresponding to the most commonly used transportation passes (such as T-Usual, which offers unlimited trips for a month, and T-Jove, a quarterly pass for individuals under 30 years old).

Despite the Barcelona City Council’s lack of approval for its 2024 budget due to opposition, and the fact that it will start the year with the 2023 budget extended, there is unanimous agreement among municipal groups on the need to maintain the discounts. In October, the city council unanimously agreed to freeze public transportation fares for the sixth consecutive year and maintain the 50% discount on T-Usual and T-Jove passes. They also expressed their willingness to continue providing financial support to make this possible. The current price of T-Usual is 20 euros, and T-Jove costs 40 euros. Without the discount, the prices would be double.

Gina Montesinos, the secretary of the Public Transport Platform (PTP), has considered that “in a context where we do not have a financing system to sustain the gratuity and discounts for transportation fares, the increase can be understood as a quick response to combat the deficit.” She added, “we have been dealing with a deficit since the pandemic and we have warned that sooner or later, some measures would have to be taken, although an increase in fares cannot be the only solution.”

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