Mercedes Vidal, director of the Public Transport of Barcelona and member of the City Government of Barcelona, has commented on this issue in more detail. The number of buses will be increased in two stages: the first stage will take place in October of 2017, while the second is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2018, simultaneously with the bus network reform. The buses already in operation, which will circulate for another year up to the launch of the new buses, will be renovated. In October, the department of transportation will introduce 22 new buses on 15 routes, among which are the new bus routes, Н10 and Н12, as well as routes 24 and 27. In 2018, the addition of route 21 is planned, with other routes to be improved if needed.
The city administration plans to purchase 33 standard buses and 10 articulated buses – all of which have hybrid, diesel-electric engines. However, more time is required for their production, purchase, and registration. Nevertheless, the city plans to launch these buses no earlier than 2018.
According to Vidal, the aforementioned reform is necessary, considering that the public transportation system has demonstrated some serious flaws in numerous areas. Moreover, improvement of the services in this sector will surely motivate more people to choose public transport over private vehicles. As a result, these changes will have a positive impact on the level of air contamination in the metropolitan area.
According to the Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona, in 2016, the number of people using city public transport was 7.8 million higher than in 2015. The growth in passenger traffic reached 4.3%, and it seems quite likely that this tendency will remain constant for some time.
A sum of 16.25 million euros has been allocated for the purchase of new buses. In 2018, the city authorities will pay 7.37 million euros to expand the bus driver staff and 11.31 million euros starting in 2019.