Bus Fares

Well I’m back for the first time in a week and I am already steamed about a couple of novelties.  It’s been but an hour.  Madrid can do that to you.  I dropped the car off five minutes past the agreed time and then took a bus back from the Atocha train station.  I get on the bus and casually flip a 1-euro coin onto the rubber tray next to the driver when he remarks, kindly I will admit, that the fare has gone up.  How much?  50 cents.  50 cents!  Yes, that’s a 50% mark-up in one fell swoop.   There’s public transportation lending a helping hand in times of crisis for you.  And what a day to learn about it.  6% drop in the market to boot.  That’s quite a negative swing in the personal fortune.  Plus 50 cents. 

            For a few years there,Madrid’s public transport system, which for the most part meets my approval, when they aren’t on strike, had a ten-trip ticket which generally came to costing half the price as ten single tickets.  If anything, it showed that certain sectors of the Spanish economy understood the concept of offering more for more advantageous prices.  Supermarkets took a while to figure that one out.  In the 90s, packaged cheese would go something like 120 pesetas for 8 slices and 270 pesetas for 16. 

            That’s why it was always welcoming to see the bus and subway service be so accommodating.  Then it must have decided that users were getting too much for their value so it jacked up the 10-trip to €9.30 making the discount a feeble 70 cents.  Whoopty-doo.  Now ten single trips would me €15 and the savings are great…am I supposed to be happy now?

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