Public transport, the necessary and urgent option, by Laia Bonet

In Barcelona we have decided freeze public transport fares by 2022. It is the second year in a row that we have made this decision. It couldn’t be otherwise, in the middle of recovery from the crisis caused by the pandemic and, above all, if we want to encourage more and more people to choose public transport. To facilitate this choice, prices must be adjusted.

They are the same reasons that led us, two years ago, to promote a revolution in transport tickets. A revolution that will only culminate in the definitive launch of the long-awaited T-Mobilitat.

But if the price is important, so is a good quality of service and a good territorial coverage. The first thing we have: in trips of up to 30 minutes, andhe public transport in Barcelona is the most efficient from Spain. Even so, we continue working to obtain financing that allows operators to guarantee a good service and at the same time face the challenges of renewing their fleets. For the second, territorial coverage, it is essential invest in the network, expanding and strengthening the infrastructure to improve capillarity and, with it, the efficiency of the system. From Barcelona we think about Rodalies and its improvement plan, which now, finally, seems to be taken seriously.

But we also need to complete the central section of the L9, an infrastructure that we all pay for despite not using it. And the ‘parks and rides’ are fundamental, which the Generalitat should promote near the train stations of the metropolitan region. A parking network that would improve the capillarity of public transport and avoid congestion at the entrances.

Mobility is as basic a right as the fundamental rights to health or education. If we can be reasonably proud of our public health system, we should also be able to take pride in our public transportation system. The youngest are clear: the environmental awareness and the digital transition they are in your DNA.

In large metropolitan areas, the environmental, economic and social crisis can only be resolved, if we talk about mobility, with a unanimous and firm commitment to an efficient, safe and sustainable public transport network.

Barcelona has been working in this direction for a long time. We must combine the need for a good functioning of daily mobility with the transformation towards a new model that promotes travel on foot, by bicycle or by public transport, the means with the greatest impact given the number of travelers who use it, its connectivity with the territory and its inclusive nature.

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The success of public transport happens because every day more people choose it as the smarter choice. Out of commitment, but also because their trips are more agile and safer.

The commitment to public transport is urgent: we need budgets and their execution by all administrations to reflect this.

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