Should public transport be subsidized?

Should public transport be subsidized?

Decree 407/2021

Royal Decree 983/2021, of November 16, approving the direct granting to the autonomous communities and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla of aid for the transformation of passenger and freight transport fleets of private companies providing road transport services, as well as companies providing complementary private transport services, within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

Within the policy lever 1, “Urban and Rural Agenda Plan, fight against depopulation and development of agriculture”, component 1 is called “Shock Plan for safe, sustainable and connected mobility in urban and metropolitan environments”. It has among its objectives that our country bet on decarbonization in urban and metropolitan mobility and the improvement of air quality in our cities, investing in green and sustainable mobility infrastructures and services. It also aims to serve as a lever for the digitization of urban and metropolitan mobility, contributing to the improvement of the quality of transport and mobility services, to the ease of use of sustainable transport by citizens, to the improvement of its accessibility and to the greater efficiency in mobility planning that can be achieved by the competent administrations thanks to digital tools.

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That information of economic-financial content and related to the management of that service by the local entities, has been sent by the respective holders of the intervention body or unit exercising its functions, through electronic means by filling in the standardized model enabled by the Ministry of Finance and in accordance with the procedure that has been developed prior to the present Royal Decree. The provision of such information has been materialized by means of an advanced electronic signature based on a recognized certificate, in accordance with Law 6/2020, of November 11, regulating certain aspects of electronic trust services.

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As indicated in the preamble of that resolution, the aforementioned information must serve as a basis “to determine a possible future direct granting of subsidies in favor of those entities in which the condition of having provided said service in any modality is met, which will be determined, if applicable, within the framework of Law 38/2003, of November 17, General Subsidies, considering for these purposes the fiscal year immediately prior to that in which the pandemic situation has occurred, and which was 2019”.

Mobility and transportation in Spain

It will finance, among other things, the purchase of electric vehicles, the installation of charging infrastructure and electric bicycle rental systems, as well as measures to facilitate the sustainable mobility of employees and customers to work centers.

The aid may be co-financed with resources from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is not compatible with other aid from any other administration for the same purpose.

The “Plan to Boost the Automotive Industry Value Chain, towards Sustainable and Connected Mobility” also includes the second edition of MOVES Singulares, aimed at promoting unique industrial innovation projects in the field of sustainable mobility.

In 2020, MOVES Singulares, whose processing has already begun, is expected to double its budget to 30 million euros to support innovation projects in the value chain of sustainable mobility and electric vehicles, as well as measures that reduce final energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, it will promote the development or innovation of new processes or prototypes of zero-emission vehicle models, the integration of advanced charging infrastructure, smart grids and electric vehicles, and applications of new battery developments and electric storage.

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“Free of charge is not beneficial from the point of view of sustainable mobility since it does not encourage the abandonment of private cars. These types of measures can make sense if they are focused on certain groups in a situation of economic vulnerability, such as the unemployed population that cannot afford to pay the fare,” explains Mateus Porto, urban architect and professor of urban planning at the European University, who distinguishes between the case of Luxembourg, whose economy “cannot be compared to anything,” and the two free lines in Madrid.

“It would be better to invest in a social pass or review the fare system “In the case of Luxembourg, the State already finances about 90% of the transport, so the change of investment has not been so great, however, in the case of Madrid the measure “on a large scale would be suicidal,” says Fernandez.

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