Madrid, May 10 (EFE).- The Autonomous Region of Madrid is to invest between 4 and 4.5 billion euros over the next five years as part of its infrastructure plan to improve public transport in the region, says Madrid Minister of Transport and Infrastructure David Perez.
Five percent of the total comes from European funds, resources that must be “appreciated and valued in their rightful measure” because, as Perez explained to Efe, Spanish government investment in the region “practically does not exist” at present.
“The investment effort in infrastructure has been assumed alone by the Autonomous Region of Madrid” since, as Perez believes, it is essential to have a good public transport network based on the criteria of “foresight, innovation and freedom of movement.”
The plan includes the creation of four new transport hubs, the improvement of the highway network and a series of projects to expand the Madrid Metro, such as the extension of Line 3 -which will link Villaverde with El Casar station in Getafe-, the construction of three new stations on Line 10 and an extension of the new Line 11.
The work, scheduled to begin in November, will turn Line 11 into “a major diagonal service that will link the north and south of the capital.” Measuring more than 33 kilometers long, “it will connect with different suburban lines”, which, according to the minister, will improve the service for the people of Madrid.
All the innovative solutions developed in favor of a “safe, efficient and accessible” transport system are to be presented by the regional government at the Global Mobility Call (GMC) congress, which is to take place in Ifema Madrid from 14 to 16 June.
For the head of the Madrid ministry, the congress, which will bring together seven thousand professionals and two hundred speakers, will mark a “before and after” in terms of the innovations introduced in different countries to provide users with a more “integrated and sustainable” mobility.
In fact, sustainability is a priority for the regional government; more than 50 percent of the 4,100 buses used in the network use “less polluting” energies, while for the Metro, a “non-polluting” transport service, the challenge is to reduce electricity consumption given the its current price.
“The regional government continues to work on the modernization of trains, which is to take place soon, with new carriages that will use less electricity”, said Perez.
We are also committed to intelligent transport systems with the implementation of more than fifty projects, including the system to top up the Public Transport Card application, the Big Data initiatives carried out by the Madrid transport consortium and the station 4.0 project.
The Metro’s Accessibility and Inclusion Plan is to receive 500 million euros with the aim of making 85 percent of the underground network stations accessible, up from 73 percent.
In addition to the presentation of the first Metro map in Braille, designed by ONCE (the Spanish National Blind Organization) and the regional ministry, the Madrid government plans to install bus shelters with audio guide systems so that blind users can receive information out bus arrival times or any problems affecting the service. EFE