Member in the Spotlight: Barcelona uses technology for improving its mobility systems

The Barcelona Metropolitan Are (AMB), has placed special emphasis on developing an extensive collection of tools that allow travellers, among other services, to plan their route, know the costs in advance and interact with the various mobility services. The collection of AMB mobile apps was developed 100 per cent by the AMB so that the tools could be perfectly adapted to the service. This development has earned the trust of citizens, as AMBtempsbus has already had 181,500 downloads and receives 200,000 queries every day.

The bus fleet was modernised as well: A total of 141 hybrid buses are now running on the regular lines, leading to a 30 per cent savings in emissions and noise. Three fully electric buses are also running on these lines. One of the most recent developments, however, was the launch in 2014 of the first Bus on Demand lines. This service covers areas that usually have irregular passenger demand, such as the hangar area of Barcelona-El Prat airport.

In the city of Barcelone, cycling is no longer just a leisure pursuit, but it is now recognized as a new means of daily transport. It is becoming increasingly popular as a clean, convenient and affordable mode of transport with health benefits. However, cycling can become frustrating since there are also concerns about theft and vandalism. In view of these circumstances, Bicibox, the first safe parking system for private bicycles, developed 100 per cent by the AMB, was created in 2011. The service is free for registered users. Parking modules are distributed at strategic points in 13 metropolitan municipalities (more will soon be added), offering a total of 1450 places. The service allows users to park their bicycle for 48 hours. Bicibox, too, comes with an app, allowing users to get real time information. Thanks to information on available places at each station, members can plan their routes better. Soon, they will also be able to book a place.

Read more about the way technology changes mobility in Barcelona

This insight has been published in the 'Thinking Cities' magazine, a joint publication of Polis and H3B Media. Issue 5, November/2015, page 44