Barcelona tramway: a success story
In June 2008 came into operation the last track of the planned tramway networks in the area of Barcelona. The project started in 1999 when a bid comprising the design, the construction and the exploitation of a tramway system was launched by ATM and awarded subsequently to a private operator (Tramvia Metropolità SA) for an operation period of 25 years.
Barcelona tram system consists of two networks, Trambaix and Trambesòs. In April 2004 the first section of Trambaix was inaugurated and the last one, the stretch extending to Sant Feliu de Llobregat, in 2007; 3 lines run on this network. Trambesòs started its operation in May 2004 and this network was completed a few months ago as mentioned before. It is organised in 3 lines as well. Both networks are UIC gauge and equipped with the same rolling stock (Alstom Citadis 302 of 5 modules).
Introduction of tramways has meant a deep modification of urban space, allowing more space to pedestrians, bike lanes and social life in general. It is worth mentioning that a substantial part of the tram networks runs on a grass - green platform which is very appreciated by the citizens. Since the opening of the network, the yearly increase of the demand has been regular. As users declared in a survey, the most appreciated features of the tramway are facility of access, cleanliness and comfort.
After the completion of Trambaix and Trambesòs, a process of reflection and study on new extensions has been undertaken in the framework of the Master Infrastructure Plan. One of the projects that is being considered is linking Trambaix and Trambesòs along Diagonal Avenue.