A free bus service in Palma has demanded a higher subsidy than other public transport in Mallorca. | MDB

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From the first of January, bus journeys in Palma will no longer be free.

The councillor for mobility, Antoni Deudero, said on Thursday that the free service depends on a budget allocation from the Spanish government, a subsidy that "arrives late". Moreover, EMT is a loss-making concern, which is why the town hall is not considering extending the free service. The town hall will be reverting to the situation as it was - free buses only for pensioners and the under-16s.

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A 20 million euro subsidy from Madrid has now been forwarded to the Balearic government. Even so, Deudero doesn't consider this to be satisfactory. The town hall has yet to see any of it. In any event, he maintains that it isn't sufficient to cover the cost of a free service.

As yet, there has been no announcement regarding free public transport for other services in Mallorca and the Balearics.

There is an issue with the subsidies as these are included in the Spanish government's annual budgets. Given the current uncertainty with the government, the 2023 budgets - in all likelihood - will have to be extended for 2024. However, it is unclear whether a budget rollover allows for subsidies of this nature.

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