“We should all feel proud of having a transport system that is the envy of the world”, says Isabel Díaz Ayuso at the Metro de Madrid centenary celebrations
The President of the Regional Government of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, attended an event held earlier today at the Chamberí Station-Museum to celebrate the Centenary of the Metro de Madrid. “The people of Madrid should feel proud of having a modern and non-polluting transport system that underpins our region, makes life easier for everyone who lives here and is the envy of the world”, said Isabel Díaz Ayuso during her speech.
The President of the Regional Government of Madrid stressed that the Madrid underground system wishes to “keep growing” and that this target will be achieved through such measures from the regional government as “free public transport in the Region of Madrid for the over-65s during this legislature”; the launch of a mobile-based payment system for access to the entire public transport network; plans to increase the “metro service at weekends and extend Lines 3 ((Villaverde Alto-Moncloa), 5 (Alameda de Osuna-Casa de Campo) and 12 (Puerta del Sur-San Nicasio); and to complete the roll-out of 4G coverage “on the entire Metro underground system”.
Isabel Díaz Ayuso was accompanied by the Vice-President, Councillor for Sport, Transparency and Spokesperson of the Government, Ignacio Aguado, and the Councillor for Transport, Mobility and Infrastructures, Ángel Garrido.
The history of Metro de Madrid began on 17 October 1919 when King Alfonso XIII of Spain opened the first line from Sol to Cuatro Caminos. A year ago now, King Felipe VI of Spain travelled the same route in an event that launched the commemoration of the Centenary of Metro de Madrid.
On the day of celebration for the centenary, the President of the Regional Government of Madrid blew out the candles on a cake decorated with the logo for this first century next to José Santos, a Metro de Madrid passenger born in Palencia and involved with the railway sector that is also celebrating 100 years today.
THE MOST ACCESSIBLE METRO IN THE WORLD
The Madrid underground system (the second-most accessible in the world, fifth-largest in terms of the number of stations and eighth-largest in terms of size) is celebrating its centenary by announcing that it will hire 300 new drivers and is preparing to buy 60 trains in order to offer a bigger and better service to the almost 2.5 million passengers it carries every day (a total of 657 million in 2018).
On the day it opened in 1919, the network comprised only one line in the capital. It now extends into 12 municipalities of the Region of Madrid and accounts for 40% of the total demand for public transport. Nowadays, the trains run by Metro de Madrid cover 100,000 kilometres - 2.5 times around the world - on a working day, stopping at its 301 stations and with their passengers using 1,700 escalators and over 500 lifts currently in service. There are more than 8,500 surveillance cameras fitted throughout the installations and trains.
Metro de Madrid has a workforce of 7,000 men and women in 2019, and an annual budget of 1 billion euros. With a century of history now behind it, the underground system moves between a dozen municipalities where more than 75% of the population has a Metro entrance less than 600 metres from their home.
Metro de Madrid is heading into the 21st Century with a global digital transformation plan that is looking ahead to its bicentenary with increased and enhanced quality and safety. The Station 4.0 Technology Centre is working in three directions: passenger information; station safety; and remote control, the first stage of the latter will become a reality on Line 8.
ACTIVITIES FOR ALL
The Region of Madrid is celebrating the Metro de Madrid Centenary with an extensive agenda of activities and surprises for passengers, who will soon be able to take part in one of the most important dates in the history of the underground system.
In the early hours of this morning, early risers travelling on the metro were surprised with gifts that had been left on seats inside the trains. Sweets were also handed out to passengers at various stations on the Centenary Line (Line 1).
Music will also feature heavily in the celebrations, with 10 performances by the Region of Madrid Orchestra at the stations of Embajadores, Legazpi, Nuevos Ministerios, Callao, Canal, Paco de Lucia, Puerta del Sur, Moncloa, Chamartín and Ópera. The groups will each consist of string quintets playing live music for five-minute sessions between 17:30 and 19:30.
Furthermore, the Region of Madrid Choir will perform various vocal pieces at Sol station from 20:00. The choir will consist of 40 voices and will be accompanied by a piano for a 30-minute recital.
The 96th Assembly of Metropolitan Railways of the International Public Transport Union (UITP) is also being held today in the Spanish capital, with Metro de Madrid as the host. This year’s edition has been organised in tribute to the Madrid underground system as a way to celebrate its centenary and will be attended by the 60 leading underground and suburban railway systems from all over the world.