Minister Arriola believes that the 50% discount on public transport will help families financially and encourage citizens to use the system
- The discount, to which the Basque transport systems have signed up, comes into force tomorrow, 1 September, and will remain in place until 31 December this year
- Holders of the contactless cards (Barik, BAT and Mugi) qualify for the fare reduction and the discount will be automatically applied when using the usual means of payment.
- The Basque Government will allocate up to €11.2 million to help the local and provincial council transport systems signed up to the initiative to defray the operation.
The 50% discount on the Basque Country’s public transport system will come into force tomorrow 1 September. A discount, which will be in force between 1 September to 31 December of this year, and to which nearly all the public transport systems of the Basque Country have signed up.
Holders of the contactless cards (Barik, BAT and Mugi) qualify for the fare reduction and the discount will be automatically applied using the usual means of payment. Users will therefore not have to carry out any additional formality.
The discounts are going to be applied to all the existing fare scales. All the available different concessionary cards, such as the ones for large families, the social tariff, the youth and senior cards, and for people with disabilities, etc.
The measure, according to the Basque Government’s Minister for Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport, Iñaki Arriola, has a very clear social dimension “as it is aimed at easing the economic burden of many families that are being hit by the price increase as the result of inflation” and an environmental aspect aimed at “boosting and fostering the use of public transport and discouraging private transport, thus reducing CO2 emissions”.
Minister Arriola likewise stressed the importance of the Basque Country being able to provide a coordinated response and with the maximum discount percentage by all operators. As will be recalled, during the Plenary Session of the Basque Transport Authority (ATE) on 7 July, the Basque administrations expressed their intention of adhering to the Spanish Government’s Royal Decree regulating a system of aid to the autonomous communities and local authorities that implement a price reduction of 30% on their multi-journey and season tickets. During the meeting the Basque Government’s Ministry of Transport announced that Euskotren would increase the discount up to 50% and raise the possibility of the other operators being able to also do so with the help of the Basque Government.
“The Basque Country’s public transport system,” Arriola explained, “is complex, depends on multiple stakeholders and authorities, but my target as the Minister of Transport has always been to achieve a 50% discount throughout the territory so that Basque citizens can take advantage of it, regardless of where they live or the means of transport they use”. The Government will guarantee that they will cover the larger part of the aid for the other Basque administrations, covering 40% of the cost of the subsidy, regardless of the amount they receive from the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda. It will allocate €11.2 million, while the other local operators will cover €4.2 million. The total cost of the measure is €31.5 million.
Any of the three contactless cards in force in the Basque Country (Barik, BAT and Mugi) can be used on any of the Euskotren transport service. The discount will also apply to the monthly ticket for the Larreineta funicular railway and the 10-trip ticket for the Kukullaga lift (both are bought without a card being required).
The discount will not apply to single or return tickets bought on paper and season tickets taken out with transport companies from outside the BAC (Passbask, Euskopass, Txik-txak, Transbus, Bortziri…) will not be covered by the scheme.