Students arriving at the Teatinos campus by Metro. / salvador salas

Malaga Metro sees record number of passengers as students return to university and fares are discounted

The carriages are often packed at peak travelling times and those who run the service are already considering doubling the capacity due to the growing demand

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ Malaga

The number of passengers using the metro in Malaga city has been increasing steadily since the pandemic, but especially in the past few weeks when it has risen by an estimated 20% compared with the same period in 2019.

Between 14 and 28 September the metro carried 319,401 passengers, compared with 261,834 three years ago. Obviously, if compared with the second half of September last year the increase is even higher (36%), because travel had not fully returned to normal at that time.

Those running the metro service are convinced that this is not a one-off because the high numbers continued all through the second half of September.

On Tuesday 27th 30,550 passengers used the system compared with 22,169 on the equivalent day (Tuesday 24 September) in 2019.

Combination of discounts

There are two probable reasons for this. One is that students are back at university now, and the other is the discounts that are available for this type of travel. Between the discounts offered by the Junta de Andalucía for young travellers and the measures applied by the government to help families cope with the rising cost of living due to inflation, the normal fare can be halved.

These two factors have resulted in a scenario that has not been seen for some time, with carriages full at peak times. In fact, Malaga Metro is already considering doubling the capacity of the trains.