The upcoming rise in value-added tax (VAT) will see ticket prices for the Madrid Metro go up by an average of two percent in September — just four months after they were hiked 11 percent by the network itself.
With the new prices, a monthly pass for the central A zone of the network will go up 90 cents, from 51.30 to 52.20 euros. A 10-journey ticket will go up 20 cents, costing 12.20 euros. The latter fare was 9.30 euros before May, when it went up 29 percent.
The VAT rise will not, however, affect the cost of a single ticket, which will hold steady at between 1.50 and two euros, depending on the number of stations traveled. Nor will a ticket to the airport rise in September, staying at five euros — the price of that journey was more than doubled in May.
Speaking on Tuesday, the regional transport chief, Borja Carabante, encouraged Madrileños to buy their monthly tickets before September 1. These travel passes are available from the 20th of the preceding month, but the VAT rise will not be added until the start of September.
The regional government was not obliged to pass on the VAT rise to its customers, and could have reduced its fares to absorb the tax hike. But according to the region, that would have cost the company seven million euros over the remainder of the year.
Other regions will also be raising ticket prices. Valencia will increase fares by five percent, and nearly double the cost of a ticket to the airport, which will rise from two to 3.90 euros. Catalonia will raise fares by two percent on average, as will Seville.
That was not the only bad news for Madrid Metro users this week. The network has decided to close 14 entrances, with another six to follow next week. This means that passengers who live or work near to one of the 20 shut access points will have to walk further to reach an alternative entrance. The closures are, according to the regional government, indefinite.
According to Metro de Madrid, there is a 30-percent lower demand for use of these entrances. But passengers have reacted angrily. “Instead of more services, we’re getting less,” said one woman, carrying shopping bags outside a now-closed entrance at Ríos Rosas station on Tuesday. The alternative station access point is a three-minute walk away, with two busy roads to cross to get there.