Starting to look the part

Starting to look the part

Malaga is beginning to look a lot like a big city

Ignacio Lillo


Monday, 10 April 2023, 09:44


Well, people of Malaga, mission accomplished. I can't say anything else. After so many years of putting up with the stupidities of the "Malaga doesn't need a metro" brigade, it turns out that on the first big day of processions, the trains were jammed and at times it was difficult to get into the city centre.

The demand for the 'we-don't-need-it' metro far outstripped the available supply. I'm not saying I'm happy that people are staying above ground, please, but neither can I avoid a smug half-smile at the realisation that those of us who have been defending the suitability of this mode of transport for 20 years (the plans date back to 2003) were right in the end.

We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that, on the same day, the Cercanías trains were also packed to capacity and had to leave some people behind, waiting for the next one. Renfe is to be thanked for having the foresight to schedule important reinforcements for the holidays but even these couldn't cope during the peak times. As for other means of transport, I don't have any data yet but the city buses are quite busy on the main routes. But then these services have always had a large number of people use them and in Malaga, there are enough people to fill all three transport systems at the same time.

However, I don't know if you have noticed, but there is a subject not being talked about this Easter. Traffic is not a problem, at least not to the level it has been in previous years at this time of year. Traffic is flowing quite smoothly in the area around the city centre, and during the arrival times of the processions, which is unheard of. People have set up a car park on their own initiative on the Teatinos university campus and those that are venturing into the centre by car are fewer than before, bringing people with reduced mobility or from the outlying, isolated or poorly communicated districts, which are now fewer in number.

Despite the occasional overload of the service, which is occurring on peak days and at peak times, something which is not unusual in other cities, what was intended when the original bus, metro and train network was designed has been fully achieved in just a matter of days: for the majority of Malaga residents it was not necessary to use the car to go to work, to go to school or have fun. It is true that now further work needs to be done to adjust rush hour frequencies, add more trains to the schedule and reinforce the service in the districts that are less well connected, especially in the eastern part of the city. But this Malaga is beginning to look a lot like a big city.


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