Public transport infrastructures are continually evolving and benefiting from new technologies. The Más Madrid party has proposed a system for the city of Madrid that connects poorly communicated nodes by means of electric buses with greater capacity and higher commercial speed.
Madrid has one of the best public transport networks in Europe, but the radial approach of the Metro and Cercanías network complicates efficient travel between points that are not far away and outside the M-30. Nothing that the car does not solve, but public transport must offer an answer.
The most voted political force of the Madrid City Council (but not the one that governs), More Madridhas presented a public transport proposal that is worth studying, regardless of who proposes it, due to its potential benefits.
It’s about the High Speed Bus Network (BAV), which is supported by high-capacity buses to connect different transport nodes that are not directly connected and that force the traveler to go further to the center and then further away again. They argue that the Cercanías and Metro network has not grown in 15 years (let’s leave that for now).
The proposal is based on electric drive buses, without going into detail about whether they are battery powered or use a specialized power line. Yes, in part it is what there was decades ago, the trolleybus. Battery buses could provide the service if they have opportunity charging or large batteries.
The existing network would be complemented by 11 new lines of High Speed Bus, with a fleet of 155 high performance buses that could move at speeds similar to the Metro. That is, above commercial bus speeds today.
The trick to achieving that speed boost is twofold. On the one hand, they would use reserved platformsthe proposal contemplates 207 kilometers of exclusive lane. On the other hand, and here is one of the main technical novelties, which they would enjoy traffic light priority to speed up the journey.
Rita Maestre (spokesperson) and Esther Gómez (councilwoman) presented the High-Speed Bus Network
Más Madrid calculates that the public transport offer would be increased by more than 300,000 seats at peak hourssomething quite significant given the volume of travelers that move within the municipal area of the capital.
The main line of the 11 projected would be called M-35 (as a middle term between the two central ring roads, M-30 and M-40), which would connect nine outer districts to the inner ring road M-30. The same where from next year it will not be possible to circulate without the environmental badge.
For practical purposes, it would be like an external ring to Metro line 6, but on the surface, connecting 13 stations of each underground line. The network includes a North-South axis, from Castellana to Villaverde, and several East-West axes to connect the latest urban developments and some of the entrances to the city.
Map of the 11 projected lines of the High Speed Bus Network
All these measures, according to the political formation, would coexist with the car, bike lanes, and wider and more tree-lined sidewalks. The least pleasant part of the project is how the traffic will be organized with the exclusive platforms where there is physically no more space.
Under the current plan, partly inherited from the previous government of the same formation (Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida, from the PP, is currently in the mayor’s office), Madrid will get rid of all vehicles without an environmental label and that are not historical or have exceptions in relatively few years.
That would not be enough to alleviate traffic in the capital, since the vehicles with a badge will already be more than 20 years old, in the case of the oldest petrol ones (Euro 3 came into force in 2001), and almost 20 years in the case of of the oldest diesels (Euro 4 in 2006).
These signs warn of the low emission zone (ZBE) of Madrid, where access is restricted even for residents
To properly assess this proposal, it would be necessary to see the technical project (if there is one). At the moment they advance a cost of 1,000 million eurosthroughout several phases, and that it would be cheaper than other modalities such as Light Rail, promoted by previous governments.