ONLY 30% travellers to be allowed to use Madrid’s public transport in first few months when Spain’s lockdown ends

SPAIN’S government has highlighted that only around 30 per cent of the public will be able to use Madrid’s bus, metro and trains networks during the first few months after lockdown restrictions end. In short, only around 1.5 million of 5.5 million of Madrid’s population that previously used public transport will be allowed to start using those services.

For that reason Madrid’s Transport Chief Ángel Garrido, stressed that “initially travel on public transport will be restricted to those that need to travel for work or study only. It will also be vital to maintain social distancing and wear a mask,” he stated.

The local government is working on measures and guidelines that will be introduced as the country’s State of Alarm de-escalation starts from May 9. To avoid Covid-19 risk of infection, social distancing of a metre and a half will have to be maintained on transport, so only 28-30 per cent of passengers will be allowed to use public transport. For this reason, the government has advised employers to allow staff to continue remote working for a few more months where possible, as well as explore gradual return to work programmes with staggered start and finish times.

Garrido is also recommending that people travel instead by bike or car, and even walk in the case of short distances. Of course, the government recognises that having more cars on the road generates other problems, such as increased pollution, “which is why we want employers to consider continued teleworking wherever possible for longer,” pointed out Garrido. The guidelines are still being drawn up, and Garrido said the country in general should expect a huge “cultural change” in the use of public transport.

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Pepi Sappal

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