Regular train commuters watch-out, there may be a new train service coming into operation on Saturday from Inca to Sa Pobla, but the fares will also be higher. Yesterday, the manager of the SFM Majorcan railway service, José Antonio Santos, announced that from January 8, fares will be going up by between 11 and 15 percent. However as travelling by rail in Majorca is still an extremely economical mode of transport, the railway does not believe higher ticket prices will have a negative affect on passenger numbers. In fact last year, the number of train passengers rose by 18.59 percent and with the new rail connection to Sa Pobla, even sharper increases are expected this year. Santos explained that fares are going up to cover the costs of the massive railway expansion project, which includes future links to Alcudia and Manacor, and to prevent the company from slipping into further debt. Last year the railway ended with debts of 120 million pesetas. Like the airlines which have been complaining about the price of fuel, rising fuel costs is also another factor which has pushed up train fares, so too have wage increases. Santos does not consider the fare increases as “excessive”. He pointed out that the journey from Palma to Marratxi will cost 90 pesetas as opposed to 80, and the fare from Palma to Inca will rise 25 pesetas from 205 to 230 pesetas. Compared to the increase in the amount of money the railway is to invest in the network next year, the fare rises are well inferior. This year the railway has a budget of 7'814 million pesetas, 83.5 percent more than last year and 6'765 million of the budget is to be re-invested into the network.

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