The Government of the Canary Islands has confirmed that the introduction of the free public transport service in the islands have been very well received by the public. The initiative came into force on 1 January and in its first month of being in effect has led to an increase of 1, 7 million passengers that use buses and trams. This corresponds to an increase of 19.77% when compared to the figures for December 2022, when the 50% discount on the ticket price was applied.
These figures demonstrate the “enormous acceptance” that the application of this measure has had among citizens to save money for families in the face of the increase in the consumer price index (CPI) as a result of the economic crisis generated by the war in Ukraine and the promotion of public transport to the detriment of private vehicles, as well as to promote the decarbonisation of mobility on the islands.
Moreover, they exceed all the expectations that both the regional ministry and the local councils had foreseen prior to their entry into force, thus continuing the path taken last September, when the 50% discount on the price of multi-journey cards for frequent travellers came into force, which led to an increase in the number of users at that time of close to 17%, according to a note from the ministry.
With the figures for January 2023 already closed by councils and town halls, the highest increase is recorded on the island of Tenerife, with a 25.83% increase, and in Gran Canaria the increase is 15.40%.
On both islands, the most significant increases occurred in the two capital cities, both in the Titsa service for the Santa Cruz de Tenerife area and in the Bus Municipal service for the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The rest of the islands also saw widespread increases, particularly El Hierro, with a 25.79% increase, and La Gomera also saw a significant 18.49% increase.
In Fuerteventura the increase is 13.31%, La Palma recorded 12.42% and Lanzarote 8.97%, although on the latter island the data from the urban buses of Arrecife have yet to be incorporated.