Petition for free inter-island ferry services for Canary Island residents

The Island Council of El Hierro in the Canary Islands has put the measure on a par with Renfe's free travel passes.

David Cabrera, Vice President of the Island Council of El Hierro and leader of Asamblea Herreña (AH), called for free inter-island maritime transport for Canary Island residents in a recent island corporation plenary session.

Drawing parallels with free Renfe, Cercanías, and Rodalies season tickets on mainland Spain, Cabrera contends that for islands like El Hierro, boats serve as an equivalent form of transport. He believes the measure could become a reality if the Canary Islands Government increases its quarterly reimbursement to Naviera Armas by an additional 25% to reach a full 100% discount.

Cabrera explains that this would be a significant relief for roughly 3,500 residents who frequently utilise the maritime service. According to his calculations, implementing the proposal would require an annual investment of approximately 4 million euros. These figures are based on August’s transport data for the La Estaca-Los Cristianos route, assuming all passengers are Canary Island residents.

Petition for free inter-island ferry services for Canary Island residents.

The AH leader asserts that this initiative would particularly help El Hierro residents who need to commute between El Hierro and Tenerife for various reasons including work, education, medical care, and family visits. He emphasises that it would substantially mitigate the cost of living and inflation issues faced by El Hierro inhabitants, owing to their “triple insularity.”

The proposal was part of the broader discussion on the third modification of the Strategic Plan of Subsidies for 2022-2023. The plan received approval with votes in favour from the PSOE and Asamblea Herreña, while AHI, PP, and Reunir El Hierro abstained, questioning the actual impact of some of the plan’s measures, including those targeting public transport on El Hierro.

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