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Flat-rate travel card for disabled residents in Madrid
thinkSPAIN , Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DISABLED travellers and commuters in Madrid can buy a 'flat-rate' public transport season ticket for a maximum of €20 a month.

Mayoress Manuela Carmena has agreed a motion put forward by the socialists, in opposition, but has made the means-testing more generous than the original proposal.

Madrid Assembly leader Ángel Gabilondo proposed that those who benefited from the cut-price season ticket – which will cost the same as a blanket unlimited-use public transport travel card for young persons – should be registered at least 65% disabled and earn a maximum of double the minimum annual income over 12 months.

This figure, known as the Public Indicator for Multiple-Effect Income (IPREM), sits at €6,390.13 a year, meaning the socialists wanted to limit the travel card to those earning no more than €12,780.26.

But Sra Carmena has widened the definition – anyone registered at least 33% disabled and earning less than three times the IPREM, or a total of €19,170.39 annually, will be entitled to recceive it.

No upper or minimum age limit has been set.

The travel card will also be available to a disabled person's habitual travel companion if he or she is unable to use public transport alone.

Until now, only those with a disability of at least 65% qualified for cut-price public transport, and even then, only a 20% reduction.

The Federation of Associations of Physically and Mentally Disabled Persons in the Greater Madrid region (FAMMA) calculates that the flat-rate season ticket could benefit up to 70,000 people a year, but the socialists have worked it out to be nearer 20,000, since not everyone who is registered disabled uses public transport.

Socialist MP Mónica Silvana González says disabled residents have been calling for a scheme like this for many years, since they have suffered more than anyone during the financial crisis with ever-increasing taxes, living costs and public service costs, and having to pay a percentage of their prescriptions.

Ciudadanos MP Juan Rubio says the scheme will 'help integration triumph over diversity', whilst MP for Podemos Beatriz Gimeno adds that the amendments to the proposal made by Sra Carmena have 'considerably improved' it, providing a 'just and fair benefit' to disabled residents.



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