Dramatic drop in public transport use as people stay at home

Traffic levels also down significantly as is overall energy use across Catalonia

An empty platform at Passeig de Gràcia metro station in Barcelona, March 18, 2020 (Sent to ACN)
An empty platform at Passeig de Gràcia metro station in Barcelona, March 18, 2020 (Sent to ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 18, 2020 12:53 PM

The Catalan authorities' message urging people to stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak seems to be working as the number of people using public transport fell again during Wednesday morning’s rush hour.

Barcelona public transport company TMB tweeted that there were a huge decrease in demand with 84% less metro journeys undertaken and 90% less bus journeys compared to a normal working day.

They added their thanks to people staying away from their services using the popular hashtag #joemquedoacasa meaning 'I'm staying at home'.

Even compared to Tuesday morning's rush hour data, the number of Barcelona metro journeys was down 12 percentage points.

Journeys on Catalonia's commuter train network Rodalies are also well down, with a 85% decrease in demand reported compared to last week.

Traffic levels halved

Traffic levels in Catalonia have also fallen significantly since the state of alarm was announced across Spain on Saturday.

According to figures from the Catalan traffic service the number of road users in the Barcelona metropolitan area was halved on Wednesday morning, compared to a typical day. Traffic on routes out of the Catalan capital was down 51.8% and on routes in to the city traffic was down 54.5%.

Energy consumption falls

Electricity consumption across Catalonia on Wednesday morning up until 11am was down 7.4% compared to the same period last week.

The fall in energy use is attributed to the temporary cessation of various sectors since the declaration of the state of alarm.

According to data from Endesa, which controls 95% of the electricity market in Catalonia, the decline is due a fall in demand in the industrial sector, as domestic use has remained stable.