Getting into Barcelona by bus or train takes only 10 minutes longer than by car

Getting into Barcelona by bus or train takes only 10 minutes longer than by car

Nearly 850,000 people wake up every morning with a long journey ahead of them. They are residents of the urban area who have to enter Barcelona from Monday to Friday, mainly for work reasons. Half of them go by car and the rest use public transport, either by bus, rail or commuter. Yesterday, the Research and Development Center presented a study that X-rays seconds. Draw a young user, who realizes that he will probably drive faster, and longs for an attendant so he can get to the station from his home more quickly.

At the end of 2023, the Automobile Club conducted a total of 1,100 passenger surveys on 42 commuter, FGM and express bus lines. In rush hour one of the headlines could be that each interviewee, on average, takes about 10 minutes longer on public transport than in a private car. In other words, he invests 20% more time. It's about a 55 minute journey door to door. The fact that they are part of this survey means that at some point in their lives they have come to the conclusion that they were compensated for this extra time, either for financial reasons, because there were no alternatives or because they benefited from the time they had on board. .

It's not double

Surely the collective imagination has firmly stated that it takes twice as long by bus or rodalis as by car. Or triple. The data says no, it's about 10 minutes on average. If it can be analyzed, in fact, we will see that the actual travel time by bus and train is less than by car, and that what adds up is the trip to the station and the waiting. Is this efficiency? Is it competitiveness? It's rather a bit of a biased comparison, because the car is always next to the house and the station, you know. Although it is also true that after that, the driver has to park the car at the destination place, which is not always easy.

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But the fact that they accept this time gap does not mean that they are not in a hurry: when asked about service needs, the majority asked for more traffic frequency, in other words, more buses and more trains. For the former, it's about putting money in and tightening the lines. As for the second, Ferrocarrills has adjusted the timetables of the Valais line so that it almost turns into a metro. The case of Rodales is different.

Even if the Rodales plan to invest 6,346 million euros this decade, Barcelona would still be on the verge of a railway collapse due to the lack of a third tunnel that would allow more trains to pass through the bowels of the Catalan capital. Although this is not happening, small measures will help, such as expanding the Arc de Triomphe platform, which will allow trains on lines R1, R3 and R4 to have 30% more capacity by being able to add three more cars to the convoy. .

The RACC asked interviewees to rate their reference public transport. There is a strange fact that shows that seeing things from the inside is different from seeing things from the outside. One might expect an ominous qualification for Rodales. But the truth is that she got a 5.5 and is only four tenths away from FGM and three tenths away from the express bus. “It shows that those who are not users have a much worse perception than the real traveller,” said Christian Bardagi, Mobility Area Manager at the RACC.

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One of the most important sociological data from the study concerns age. 60% of them are young people between the ages of 21 and 40, and only 28% are older than 41 years. Is there an age when it's too lazy to take a train or bus? “We cannot conclude that people of a certain age choose public transport less. But we can say that young people, despite having an alternative private vehicle, use the bus or train more,” Bardagi said.

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What it's about, after all, is improving the user experience. The auto industry has been doing this for decades, with TV ads showing a car driving alone through the streets of a large city, with the window open, with no sign of pollution. Bus and train are rejected, as well as the metro. In this aspect, the RACC study sees significant room for improvement. But this does not mean that the hostess carrying cakes and fresh coffee should pass through the carts. In addition to the increased traffic, there is also a lack of options for those who live far from the station to get there quickly, either through sharing, self-driving minibuses or park and ride.

To make the leap, works such as the L9 of the metro, the projects underway in Rodalies or the extension of the FGC L8 to Gràcia must also be completed. Add Metropolitan Bicing as well as intercity sharing. And upon request, remote work and flexible working hours so that peak hours stop being so intense.

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