By Anna Ellis •
Published: 03 Sep 2023 • 15:15
All Aboard: Almería's Fair Bus Service Smashes Records in 2023! Image: Ayuntamiento de Almeria / Facebook.
In a remarkable feat, the Almería City Council and Alsa-Surbus, the champions of urban public transportation in the capital, have soared to new heights in 2023.
The city’s special Fair bus service has not only surpassed all previous records but has also achieved its best performance in history, ferrying a whopping 114,358 passengers during the nine days of the Almería Fair.
A Journey of Success
This year, the Fair service reached new heights with seven lines, one more than the previous year, serving as a lifeline for residents and visitors alike.
As María del Mar García Lorca, the Councilor for Public Function and Security, beamed, “We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response to this special Fair service. It has been a vital link, ensuring everyone can join the Fair festivities without the hassle of navigating congested roads, especially when around 27,500 people flocked to the event daily.”
A Sustainable Celebration
The councillor emphasised that each passenger choosing the bus over private vehicles significantly eased traffic congestion while promoting sustainable mobility. “The Almería City Council remains steadfast in our commitment to serving the people of Almería and enhancing their mobility experience.”
Breaking Records with Style
The seven Fair lines, with frequencies ranging from 10 to 45 minutes, connected neighborhoods such as Paseo de Almería, La Salle, Pescadería, Piedras Redondas, El Alquián, Retamar, and Torrecárdenas to the fairground.
This resulted in a staggering 27 per cent growth compared to the previous year, with 24,183 more passengers choosing the bus.
What’s even more impressive is that it surpasses the previous best figure, set in 2019 before the COVID pandemic, by 10,532 passengers.
These numbers reflect the unwavering commitment of Almería’s residents to public transportation as their preferred mode of reaching the Fair.
Leading up to the event, the City Council and Alsa-Surbus ran the ‘Move to the Fair by Bus!’ campaign, highlighting the importance of using public transportation.
Bigger and Better
This year’s special service featured 26 vehicles, nearly 20 per cent more than the previous year, ensuring smoother rides for everyone.
In addition to this, regular services in the city continued during this period, and the Cooltural Fest Shuttle was also operational during the festival.
The special Fair lines operated from 8:00.PM to 07:00.AM the next day, except for ‘Children’s Day’ on Wednesday, August 23, and the final weekend, Friday, August 25, and Saturday, August 26, when service started at 7:00.PM.
The peak in passenger numbers occurred during the final weekend of the Fair, with a whopping 30.28 per cent increase.
Saturday, August 26, saw the highest ridership, with 17,555 passengers, closely followed by Friday, August 25, with 17,068 riders, and Saturday, August 19, with 16,381 passengers.
The numbers ranged from 8,861 on the first Friday of the Fair to 12,950 on Thursday, August 24.
Throughout the nine-day celebration, the average number of users on the seven special Fair lines was 12,706, marking a 10.14 per cent increase compared to the pre-pandemic year.
The F1 and F2 lines, linking central streets like Paseo de Almería and Avenidas Cabo de Gata and Mediterráneo to the Fairground, stole the show, carrying 52 per cent of users (60,015 people).
The F5, starting in El Alquián and passing through San Vicente, Venta Gaspar, Loma Cabrera, and La Cañada, came in third with 12,941 passengers.
The F3 (Pescadería to the Fairground) recorded 12,810 users, while the F4 (Piedras Redondas – Fairground) had 11,882 passengers, and the F6, running from Retamar through Costacabana and Vega de Acá, had 8,885 passengers.
Last but not least, the newly introduced F7 line, connecting Torrecárdenas to the Fairground via Avenida Madre María Aznar, Los Molinos, and Calle Alhadra, welcomed 7,825 users.
María del Mar García Lorca wrapped up by saying, “The Almería City Council‘s aim is to continually enhance traffic flow and promote sustainable mobility in the city. We wholeheartedly thank all public transportation users for their cooperation and Alsa-Surbus employees for their tireless efforts during these action-packed days.”
With records shattered and a community united in favour of sustainable travel, Almería’s Fair bus service is undoubtedly on the road to a brighter, greener future!
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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