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Mobility Measure

Panel with information about the new public transport network in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
New public transport network

This measure implied an integrated and totally new public transport network in Vitoria-Gasteiz, modifying the old one, based on 18 buses lines, to the new scheme of 2 tram lines and only 9 bus lines with new itineraries and timetables, improved frequencies, more resources, 146 bus stops relocated, new bus lanes, traffic light priority for buses, etc.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The measure was the key factor of the mobility strategic framework of the city, according to the new segmentation of the city based on the superblocks concept that has redefined the mobility of pedestrians, bicycles, buses and cars.

The expected outcomes of that measure were:

  • Implement a campaign to manage the transition to the new integrated network, minimising the negative impact on the public transport users.
  • Increase the mean frequency of the public transport network (from 20 min to 15 min).
  • Increase the commercial speed of the public transport network (20%).
  • Increase the number of travels in the public transport (15%).
  • Minimise the accident rate in the public transport network.

How did the measure progress?

In October 2009 Vitoria-Gasteiz changed its public transport network for the entire city in just one night, under the following principles:

  • Network integration: designed for tram and buses, which  also minimise friction with private cars.
  • Continuity: forming a homogeneous network and a reticular morphology to achieve maximum efficiency.
  • Coverage: accessible to the citizens with a rate of 97% of citizens with stops within 350 meters from home.
  • Simplicity: bus stops at the grid nodes and spaced 400 meters giving full coverage to the territory.
  • Connectivity: designed to allow the user to reach the entire city with a maximum of two transfers.
  • Competitiveness: journey times by public transport have to be compatible with journey times of private cars.

The citizens of Vitoria-Gasteiz went to sleep on the 29th of October 2009 seeing the old network off at 23:00 hrs and woke up next morning with a totally new and revolutionary network born at 5:00 a.m.

The main characteristics of the new network and supporting measures to implement the new public transport network were the following:

  • More resources: 17 new buses on service and 56 bus drivers hired.
  • Less bus lines: rationalization of bus routes from 17 to just 9.
  • Reorganization of bus-stops locations at grid nodes: 146 bus stops relocated within the new network.
  • Traffic light priority: priority given to public transport buses in 17 junctions. In addition, 31 new junction priority traffic light were implemented in 2012.
  • New platforms at bus-stops: 1395 metres of prefabricated platforms implemented in 93 locations in 2009, expanded with 44 non-prefabricated platforms set in 2010 and 11 new designed platforms with improved accessibility conditions in 2012. Nowadays 73% of non regulated bus stops are equipped with platforms placed on pavement with preference to private cars.
  • Bus lane segregation: Two downtown corridors with a total length of 1520 metres implemented for the exclusive use of public transport, services and residents. Bus lane and queue jumpers at busy junctions implemented in 22 different locations, two of them against the normal street direction.
  • Bus/tram integrated fare (BAT Card) with contactless technology.
  • Free Park&ride service in five strategic locations to reduce the volume of traffic coming into the city.
  • Strong dissemination and participatory initiatives, including recruitment campaign for volunteers. Several information point on streets, buses, stops and civic centre gave direct information orally to 44.683 people.
  • Training: more than 10.000 hours of training given to bus drivers, inspectors, administrative personal and traffic and customer service.
  • New network incorporation on the main route planners available on the internet and smartphones.
  • Push and pool tools, which mean changes in the regulation of surface parking OTA, increasing prices to dissuade the use of private cars.

A massive communication campaign was carried out before and after the transition from the old to the new network and service to inform the citizens, limit the problems coming from such a sudden and huge modification and to achieve a real understanding by the people of the new transport logic.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

One of the main outcomes of the Public Space and Sustainable Mobility Plan implementation in Vitoria-Gasteiz was to reverse the increasing use of private cars, transferring those users to more sustainable modes of transport.

The modal split of private cars increased from 29% in 1996, to 31% in 2002 and 36,6% in 2006. Nowadays the number are very different:

  • On foot modal split has increased from 49,9 to 53,6% in the last 5 years.
  • Bicycle modal split has increased from 3,4 to 6,9% in the last 5 years.
  • Private cars modal split has decreased from 36,6% to 28,3% in the last 5 years.

To reach the outcomes of PS&SMP the city was divided in superblocks that transformed the design of roads and the transit scheme of the city for private cars, bicycles, pedestrian and public transport.

Several measures were needed to be implemented by different department of the Municipality and CIVITAS framework offered the opportunity to perform them, gradually, strategically coordinated, participated by citizens with financial support of the European Union, learning from the best practices of other cities and companies.

Quantitative results:

  • Bus frequency: 11 minutes.
  • Increase in commercial speed from 10,77 to 12,73 km/h, which represents an improvement of 18.2%.
  • Public transport users from 2007 to 2011: 12.043.308 -> 19.306.719, wich represents an increase of 60.31%.
  • Reduction of accidents per bus and year, from 5.63 to 3.55.
  • Reduction of fuel consumption average from 56,56 to 53,03 litres/100kms.
  • Lower CO2 emissions (421 tns/year).

Basic Information

February 2013

Thematic Areas