Aguado: "We continue to guarantee safe public transport in the Community of Madrid”
In total, 200 hydrogel dispensers will be placed over the next two weeks. They will be located after the entrance turnstiles, so that all passengers can easily access them. The 50 stations where they will be installed account for half of the daily passengers on the underground network and have connections with one or more Metro lines and with Renfe's suburban trains.
The regional vice-president pointed out that this measure "helps to strengthen the Metro network to ensure that the people of Madrid enjoy safe public transport throughout the region". "The Metro is a safe form of public transport, and even more so from today", said Aguado, stressing that the 200 dispensers will provide "support for travel in the Community of Madrid".
Based on numerous international scientific studies, "coronavirus infections do not occur in public transport", as Aguado explained. For this reason, he has called for "not generating misinformation" and for conveying the message that "if we do not remove our mask, we can travel normally". "The chance of getting infected on public transport with the use of a mask is less than 1%," he explained.
"We want to continue strengthening the safety of Metro de Madrid's workers and users. This is why the measures that have been implemented in the underground, now including the installation of these hydrogel dispensers, have earned it the Madrid Guarantee seal for protection against COVID-19", Garrido pointed out.
The installation of hydrogels is in addition to other measures that the company has recently implemented, such as the reinforcement plan for the start of the school year, which involves an increase in supply of up to 28%.
Reinforcement and priority attention
Additionally, this week Metro de Madrid has improved transport capacity with special attention to the areas where the new measures apply, which have 44 underground stations. This improvement includes trains that run in a loop; shorter journeys to reinforce the service on the busiest sections of line. This makes it possible to improve frequencies and therefore reduce waiting times.
The automatic capacity control has also been reinforced, which is already being carried out in 225 stations, with greater control over the entry quotas in the 44 stations concerned. The system operates through the validation of the entrance turnstiles and blocks the accesses with micro cuts of 2-3 minutes to avoid overcrowding in case of need.
Through the Metro app you can find out about the capacity of the station you are going to use, as well as information on how busy it has been in the last 40 minutes. It also indicates the minutes each train passes by.
The on-site capacity monitoring system, which was operating in 22 stations, has also been extended to include the 44 stations in the affected areas. Metro staff and security guards are controlling possible crowding and helping passengers spread out across the platform and trains.
In the same way, Metro is complying with the health authorities’ instructions, which establish the obligatory use of face masks and set occupancy levels of 100% for seated places and up to 3 people per square metre of standing area in the case of spaces reserved for this purpose. Metro continues with intensive daily cleaning and disinfection.
As well as these measures, Metro de Madrid will have one hundred new train drivers before the end of the year. The first 60 will join the underground's staff on 19 November, while the other 40 will start working on 22 December, coinciding with the start of the Christmas period.
These 100 new train drivers are part of the 300 new contracts that the Community of Madrid is going to close in the coming months, so that all of them will be incorporated into the staff before summer 2021. It should be remembered that another 45 new train drivers joined the Metro workforce this summer and another 100 did so last year.