Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Walk, ride or drive?




I was surprised to find out recently that while an estimated 45% of Barcelonans get around town on foot most of the time, only 14% of us use public transport habitually. This is according to a study conducted for the Catalan government (the Generalitat) and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The study also found that 40% use a personal car regularly.
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What was even more surprising was to read that more Madridleño's use their city's public transport system than we do! This is according to a report by the by the "Consejería del Transporte" (Transport Council) cited in the free daily newspaper Que! The study reportedly found that regular public transport use is at 74% in the capital city! Nothing was mentioned about cars or pedestrians, however.
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When I lived in Madrid there were an awful lot of cars and traffic jams. The streets seemed crowded with pedestrians, too. To tell the truth, the metro did often seemed pretty packed. Just like Barcelona! Hmmm, makes me think of the old expression, "there are lies, damned lies and statistics."
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Well, something I am sure about is that both cities have excellent public transport systems and both are great for walking. Barcelona's public transport authority seems to me to be particularly innovative -- for example, the "Bicing" bicycling program I've written about before. As for walking goes, it is nice to know that almost half of my city's residents use this method to get around daily.
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As a matter of fact, it's about 9pm, the sun is setting and this is a perfect time for an evening "paseo." I think I'll do just that!
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¡Chao amig@s!

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