Children up to and including 12 years of age will be able to travel for free while pensioners, with pensions below the minimum amount (€240 per month), will also qualify for free bus passes. Pensioners receiving up to €435.76 will pay €11.35 for a city bus pass and €15.15 for an intercity pass. Those pensioners who receive more than €435.76 per will be required to pay €25.75 for a Municipality bus pass and €34.35 for interurban routes.
Secondary school children whose parents are not in receipt of ‘assistance’ will be required to pay €22.50 per month for a Funchal student bus pass and €30 if travelling on an interurban route.
In a speech, the Vice President of the regional government, Pedro Calado stated that people could buy their passes from all the usual outlets but did ask for the community’s understanding as the new tariff reduction system comes into effect. He went on to say that the financial burden of the new social tariffs to the government was in the region of eight million euros in compensatory allowances payable to the five public transport companies operating on the island. This is in addition to a further €6.5 million in indemnity payments. However, he said the government were proud that they had not borrowed this money, but had used money set aside through their strict budgetary control over the past couple of years.
The new bus pass price capping means that families, depending on where they live can make an average saving of €180 – €1080 per year.