Terrassa (Spain)

Terrassa is a city of 210,000 inhabitants located in the Catalan Prelitoral Depression at the foot of the Prelitoral Mountain Range in the northeastern region of Catalonia, Spain. The city has implemented notable measures for a more sustainable transport system.

It is the most important urban area of the Vallès sub-region, which lies in the central area of Barcelona’s metropolitan area. The motorization rate of Terrassa is important (645 vehicles/1,000 inhabitants), quite similar to the existing rates of both the whole Catalonian region and the Barcelona metropolitan area. Yet at the same time the city’s public transport operator runs 65 buses and 13 line services, carrying more than 11.5 million passengers per year.

Considering trips within Terrassa, the modal split is: 50 percent for walking and cycling, 40 percent for private transport and 10 percent for public transport.

Terrassa is one of the first cities in Spain to have developed a local transport plan. The plan, approved in 2003, sets out a long-term vision to improve mobility around the city while reducing dependence on private cars and promoting active travel and public transport. It also stresses the need for improved accessibility through the removal of architectural and physical barriers and ensuring better road safety in areas of pedestrian priority. It also:



  • promotes greater priority for pedestrians in commercial zones;
  • calls for better control and gradual elimination of air and noise pollution caused by traffic;
  • seeks to raise awareness among drivers of the need to mind traffic rules and respect the rights of pedestrians;
  • endorses an integrated approach to transport throughout the region to create maximum efficiency; and
  • seeks to establish maximum speeds at 30km/h within city districts so that motor vehicles and bicycles can share the same road space safely.

The city has also carried out a project to improve pedestrian connections between the eastern and western parts of the city, which are separated by multiple river and streambeds. This ongoing project has involved adapting existing bridges to accommodate travel by foot, construction of multiple footbridges and making necessary street improvements to enhance pedestrian safety along roads.

The city has also implemented a small-scale (approximately 100 bikes at five docking stations) manual bike-sharing system, called Ambicia’t.

The city’s dedication to partnerships and stakeholder outreach was demonstrated by its cooperative approach in the drafting of the local transport plan. Several groups were enlisted to provide input, including neighbourhood associations, technical professionals and various other public and private stakeholders.

Summary finalized: September 2010



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