September 19, 2020

Madrid’s public transport is tested in phase 1

This Monday, all Madrid residents premiere phase 1, and so does their public transport, which has started to test various measures since the early hours of the morning with a view to a greater influx of travelers during de-escalation, with an automatic system of latch closing to avoid crowds or gauging controls.

The Sol station has dawned with a slightly more influx of passengers than in recent weeks, but with much more security, capacity controls and transport offer, as confirmed by Efe Metro and Cercanías security workers, as well as coffee stalls, which have added more customers than usual.

Eladio was one of the few users who waited on the platforms of line 2 of this station at 8 in the morning. It is the second time that he takes the Metro during this health crisis and the first time he does it to work and sees it as “very changed”.

“It is very changed, there are many brands to ensure the safety distance, a lot of control, that’s fine, really. The first time I used it, there was a person with the mask, but it was removed, and others weren’t wearing it,” he comments as he accommodates on the orientation mark on the platform floor.

Until 9 in the morning the number of Metro commuters grew by 16 percent compared to last week, confirms hours later the Minister of Transport, Ángel Garrido, who also recalls that the offer of public transport has increased by 90 per hundred this Monday in rush hour.

At the Menéndez Pelayo station the influx is not greater, but this is one of the stations that today has released access control, a system to avoid the accumulation of passengers on the platforms and that today has made those “microfilters” in 128 occasions.

It consists of forming a single queue -with a safety distance of two meters- in winches of between 10 and 15 people, which will be the maximum that will be allowed to pass when there are two minutes left for the train to arrive. Once the train leaves, the access control disappears until there are two minutes left for the train to arrive, explains the person in charge of this control, María José Fuentes.

There are no crowds in the cars of the Metro line 1, in fact there is a minimum of one free seat on each side of each passenger, as established by the markings on the seats. From the car, this Monday it is also common to see security teams on the platforms, counting passengers and trains.

In Atocha, Hector Hugo, one of the workers from the Cercanías network, tells Efe that, since we are already in phase 1, an exhaustive control is also being carried out so that the people who enter wear masks, and points out that there have been more influx of Renfe travelers.

The train tracks do not show crowds, they do provide guidance marks on the ground and quite a few security personnel, making sure that all passengers comply with the regulations.

In the Atocha Metro is the person in charge of the Madrid Metro Operation division, Fernando Rodríguez, who assures Efe that the control system tested this Monday “is working” and anticipates that in the following weeks it will try to automate.

“We want these controls to automatically control the toll, relying on the footprint of the trains and the influx of passengers in such a way that, coordinating these two variables, we regulate the occupation of the trains,” he explains, referring to a system that will automatically stop the lathes if the occupation is exceeded.

From the Regional Transport Consortium, the regional vice president, Ignacio Aguado, summarized that the “general note” of this Monday in phase 1 has been of “normality in transport”, where there have been no “large crowds”, and that he has counted with about 200 people “guaranteeing” that this first test turned out well.

Marta Moreno


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