Regional Government of Madrid adapts public transport offer to coronavirus crisis
The Regional Government of Madrid, in coordination with the Government of Spain, has agreed to adapt the public transport offer in the region to the new situation derived from the extraordinary and preventive measures approved as a result of the evolution of the coronavirus and the declaration of the state of emergency.
Public transport demand fell on Tuesday in the Region of Madrid by 87.6% on the same day last year, according to figures from the Madrid Regional Transport Consortium. And today it has fallen by 6% on morning rush hour yesterday.
The Consortium has already detected new mobility habits of citizens in the region in recent days, with the morning rush hour starting earlier, moving from 07:30 to 07:00, as well as the practical disappearance of the late afternoon rush hour. For this reason, the Regional Government of Madrid has agreed to adapt the public transport offer to this new situation, bringing forward the usual offer in the morning rush hour and adjusting it during the rest of the day.
Furthermore, the service on lines with stops near hospitals is prioritised; train frequencies in the evening are maintained to ensure that workers can return from work; and, in the case of intercity buses, the standard service will be maintained for those more distant towns in the region (tariff zones C1 and C2).
The decision has been adopted in collaboration with the Government of Spain and with the public transport operators in the region (Metro de Madrid, EMT, the other suburban and intercity buses, Renfe Cercanías [suburban trains], light metros and tramways). By adjusting the public transport offer, the Regional Government of Madrid can guarantee the provision of a key public service.
The Madrid Regional Transport Consortium is continuously monitoring the use of public transport in the region, and hence the changes made today could be modified according to changes in demand throughout the system.
For example, 688,418 journeys were recorded throughout the public transport system on Tuesday, 4.84 million fewer journeys than on the same day last week. The number of journeys generally stands at about 5.5 million on a weekday.
Within the framework of the measures and recommendations being adopted to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, the Regional Government of Madrid would remind citizens of the need to stay at home.
At any event, if the journey is strictly necessary and falls within those cases provided for in the Royal Decree declaring the state of emergency, the Regional Government of Madrid advises the elderly and those who suffering from illness to avoid using the Metro and public transport in general, on health grounds. This recommendation by the health authorities extends to care-providers and those who live with these sectors of the vulnerable population.