By Chris King •
Updated: 09 Sep 2023 • 22:19
Image of a Malaga Metro train.
Credit: Metro de Malaga
THE Málaga Metro continues to break records with the number of passengers it is transporting.
With trains now running to the stations of Guadalmedina and Atarazanas in the centre of the city, this has significantly boosted the total number of people using the service on a daily basis.
During the months of July and August, almost two million used the Metro. Specifically, a total of 1,990,232 passengers were registered, which is an increase of 145 on the 810,889 who used it in the same period of 2022.
In the month of July, the trains handled 1,010,659 users, a sharp rise of 133.23 per cent more than in July 2022, when a total of 433,322 passengers was recorded.
Meanwhile, in the month of August, there were 979,573 users, again this represents a rise of 159.44 per cent compared to the 377,567 who travelled on the Metro in August last year.
Basically, in either of those two months, the Málaga Metro registered more passengers than in the entire summer of the previous year, as reported by malagahoy.es.
Three times more users took advantage of the Metro service during the Málaga Fair in August. Between August 11 and 20, a staggering total of 337,273 people used the trains.
This equates to an increase of 200.4 per cent on the 112,248 passengers who travelled during the same festive period last year.
When compared to the data prior to the pandemic, a similar growth is revealed, since in 2023 a volume was recorded that was 191.7 per cent higher than the 2019 fair.
From January 1 to August 31, 2023, the accumulated data rose to 7,771,787 users. This was almost double (94.85 per cent) that of the first six months of 2022 when 3,988,605 users were recorded using the service.
This figure shows an even greater response when you consider that the new extension line did not come into operation until March 27.
Since the routes to Guadalmedina and Atarazanas were opened, between April and August, the average growth compared to 2022 has risen to 124.03 per cent.
In May 2023, according to public transport data, more than five million travellers used the Municipal Transport Company (EMT) and the Málaga Metro.
According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), these 5.1 million passengers were the highest number since records began.
From the data shared by the INE, it is clear that almost 1.2 million people travelled on the suburban train in the month of May.
This figure is far surpassed by the 3.95 million EMT users, which continues to be the most used transport system. In total, 5,148,000 passengers used Malaga’s public transport in May.
With new routes expected to open later this month, that will further increase the suburban frequencies in Malaga. The operators hope to reduce the waiting time between services to six minutes at peak times.
However, when these 18 expected trains start running, Metro Málaga workers have voiced their fear of an increase in their driving hours.
They also predict a worsening of the quality of service at the stations plus a precariousness of their jobs due to a lack of personnel. As a result, after holding a general assembly, they plan to begin a series of protests to demand more staff be hired.
Daniel López, the CCOO union general secretary in Metro Málaga, pointed out in an interview with malagahoy.es that the workforce had been insufficient since the Guadalmedina and Atarazanas stations opened in March.
He explained that in September, if the plans are fulfilled: ‘the entire fleet will start operating, which is 18 trains, when now we have 14’,
According to López, the company has informed the union representation that six new line operators are being trained and another six are waiting to receive said training.
Even so: ‘we don’t really know how many incorporations will be made’, López explained, emphasising that in order to: ‘establish the operational model that the company has established, more staff are needed’.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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