Lucky Tourists catch a free Ride on Mallorca Trains
Apr 14, 2015
Mallorca's train network saw a veritable invasion these last few days as passengers managed to catch a free ride while railway authorities installed the island's brand new ticketing system and put a stop to future fare dodging. The unexpected rail freebie prompted large numbers of winter tourists to hop on a train instead of exploring the island with car rental from Mallorca Airport.
From 20th February onwards passengers travelling on Palma's Metro lines and the network of the SFM transport company had to pay again - the new electronically operated ticketing machine together with 212 CCTV cameras is to prevent fare dodging in future. The Balearic Island's autonomous government has estimated that fare dodging costs the municipal coffers roughly 1.4 million in lost revenue every year.
To avoid long queues during the change-over to new ticket machines and the installation of new types of entries to the stations the rail authorities had permitted passengers to travel for free. Although free rail travel was mostly used by school children and senior citizens, a large number of tourists also used the trains for the first time just to try out Mallorca's public transport system.
According to news organisation "Ultima Hora" at times stations were besieged by passengers and trains left with every coach filled completely. Each Metro line train can transport between 500 to 550 passengers.
Exploring Mallorca by Rail
Mallorca's rail network comprises of three individual electrified lines, radiating north and east from Palma. Main line and Metro line services start and terminate at the Estació Intermodal/Placa d'Espanya or Palma Intermodal Station. The island's famous historic train connecting the town of Sóller in the Tramuntana Mountains and Palma terminates at the adjacent station on Carrer Eusebi Estada.
It is unlikely tourists will switch from car rental to exploring Mallorca purely by train and bus in future, but for many holidaymakers the last few days' free rail travel will have opened up new possibilities of what excursions and activities to include in their next holiday.
To start with, there is the prospect of enjoying the wonderful scenic route of the historic train at their leisure before embarking on a weekend's hiking in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountain. Car hire from Mallorca Airport is, however, far more practical for those planning to visit the picturesque villages that cling to the foothills and tell the colourful story of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Tramuntana.