The use of public transport increased at Christmas by 4.5 million users, 4.01% up on the same period in 2015
The use of public transport over the Christmas period increased by 4.5 million users, 4.01% more than at last Christmas. The majority of these users travelled by metro, where the number of passengers rose by 3.7 million, i.e. 82% chose the Underground again, which makes it once more the means of transport preferred by Madrilenians for making their journeys.
Today the Secretary of Transport, Housing and Infrastructure of the Community of Madrid, Pedro Rollán, weighed up the results of the Madrid Christmas transport arrangements, after the lifting of the traffic restrictions that the City Council had imposed on account of the Christmas festivities.
To counteract the effect of the traffic restrictions decreed by the Madrid City Council and the increase in the number of users that normally takes place in the Christmas period, the Community of Madrid increased the public transport services, especially in the metro, where the service at centrally located stations was stepped by half. This involved an outlay of 9.5 million euro, which meant that 350,000 more places were made available, on top of the 400,000 achieved through the hiring of 360 new drivers.
During these days the increase in the number of public transport users was very substantial. For instance, on 7 December use of the metro, suburban rail and EMT bus network rose by 20.77%, with 715,395 more users than in the same period last year. Likewise, on 5 December it increased by 19.29%, which meant 661,531 more users, 140,306 of whom were in the downtown area.
Another especially significant date was 29 December, when the Madrid City Council decreed anti-pollution protocol scenario 3. On that day, the number of passengers rose by 282,227.
For Rollán, the measures imposed by the City Council to reduce pollution proved quite ineffective despite their cost for Madrilenians. “It’s the case of an obsolete protocol”, he claimed, “for which other cities that had been applying it, like Paris, have already sought more efficient alternatives, such as not permitting access to more highly polluting vehicles”. Rollán also considers that levels of pollution have been set “lower than those recommended by the World Health Organization so as to impose traffic restrictions that only arouse unwarranted social alarm”.