50% of car trips in Barcelona have public transport alternatives, study shows

Rejection of service because of "low level of trust," RACC drivers association says

Cars enter the Glòries tunnel after its initial opening in one direction in April 2022 (by Maria Belmez)
Cars enter the Glòries tunnel after its initial opening in one direction in April 2022 (by Maria Belmez) / ACN

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

April 19, 2023 03:38 PM

April 19, 2023 05:29 PM

Over half of the car users in Barcelona could do their journey using a "reasonable" public transport route, but drivers reject the option because of their "low level of trust" in the service, a new study by the RACC drivers association says.

Users rank public transport services with a 6.7, lower than the 8.3 mark for the use of a car.

"People do not want cheaper public transport, but a more functioning one," Josep Mateu, RACC president, said on Wednesday during a press conference.

Data analyzed by RACC show that 80% of those surveyed consider Barcelona's traffic jams to have worsened in the last four years, and 65% believe the situation will not improve in the future. The figures also show that only three out of ten residents work in the same neighborhood they live.

Meanwhile, the use of public transport has reduced in the last few years. While in 2017, 40% of the journeys were made by public transport, in 2021, this figure dropped to 28%. The use of private cars has remained at around 25%.

Because of the situation, "we need to rethink our mobility model. It should be reconsidered in social, environmental and economic terms," Mireia Rey, RACC head of surveys, said.


Parking in Barcelona

RACC's survey also shows that it has become more complicated to park in Barcelona than four years ago. Almost half of the surveyed confirm they park on the road-parking areas but also agree that private parking is crucial to decide whether to drive to a location or not.

Between 2009 and 2021, 68% of parking spots in Barcelona have been lost. One of the reasons has been the extra terraces bars and restaurants got during the Covid-19 pandemic, which seven out of ten respondents believe have "taken over" the parking spots on the streets.

"It is not a good political decision," Mateu said, as those surveyed by the RACC wish to return to the situation seen in 2019.