Valencia : City News
Last updated : April 2005
Increased patronage and ambitious projects for public transport
The metropolitan area of Valencia (1.6 million inhabitants), the third largest urban area in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, boasts one of the most extensive public transport systems in Spain. In 2001, 161 million trips were made on public transport outside heavy rail, representing about one third of all motorised trips in the urban area. After several years of falling patronage, the trend has been reversed since 1998, and the number of passengers has increased by 13% in four years. The main reasons for this positive trend seem to be the building and extension of underground lines on the one hand, and the introduction of fare integration, on the other hand.
As an example, the number of passengers using metro (46 million in 2002) increased by 14,2% between June 2002 and June 2003. This result is linked to the inauguration in April of the first section of the third underground line (L5), which is operated by Metrovalencia (the trade mark of FGV, the Valencia regional public company responsible for regional railways). This new line, of a current length of 2.3 km, will connect the seafront with the airport in the future.
Projects of extention of the network, which already comprises 3 metro lines (L1,L3 and L5) and one tramway route (T4), are underway. The construction of a new tramway line (T2), counting 8 stations on its 4.3 km long route, of which 1.8 km will be underground, will be set up soon. It will connect the old city center with major public facilities and leisure areas. At the same time, the existing underground lines will be extended and a major interchange station (called Bailen) is being built now, close to the central rail station. This project, of a total cost of 20 million EUR, will connect two underground lines with the suburban and the long distance rail network.
Lastly, a new public transport authority covering the whole metropolitan area, Entitat de Transport Metropolita de Valencia (eTM), was set up in 2001 by the regional government so as to improve co-ordination of transport planning between the regional and the municipal levels, to manage integrated fares, to improve the quality of information delivered to passengers, and lastly to reorganise the provision of taxi services. Its objective ios to increase the market share of public transport systems.