Barcelona: FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT for 3 years. Should other cities follow its example?

Private means are one of the main sources of pollution, you have to try to encourage the use of public transport

Credits: t-verda

The pollution problem affects most of the cities in the world, especially the developed one. One of the key reasons of pollution is the smog given by traffic. Barcelona has found an alternative method that replaces the incentive system based on fines and punishments that is usually applied in most of the countries: would it be efficient in other cities?

Barcelona: FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT for 3 years. Should other cities follow its example?

# The initiative: More than 12,000 fewer private vehicles travel around Barcelona

Credits: t-verda

In 2017, Barcelona started a project that aimed to make its citizens switch from urban car transport to public transport. This change must not only be induced, but it has to be maintained. So the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, since 2017, has provided 12,000 T-verda metro tickets to all those who have given up private transport.

The T-verda ticket (translated T-green) allows free use of all public transport in zones 1 to 6 of the metropolitan area for 3 years. In Barcelona 3 years of free public transport in exchange for a waiver of your private transport seems to have worked! In the Spanish Capital, in fact, there was a reduction of 10,613 cars and 1,735 motorcycles for a total of more than 12000 T-verda tickets given.

# Would it work in Milan? The analogies with Barcelona

Credits: @ior_leibler_photography

At this point the question is: would this solution be effective in other cities? Analyzing the public transport of the best Italian city served by public transport, Milan, some analogies between the city and Barcelona can be noticed.

Between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) came into force in Barcelona, which prohibits to the most polluting vehicles to circulate in the city during working days, from Monday to Friday, from 7:00 to 20:00. Also other cities applied the same law: Milan, for example, has the Area B, which prohibits entry into the city to the most polluting vehicles and those that carry goods with a length of more than 12 meters. Going deeper in the system of Milan, the city has an Area C too.

# A good example but not easy to replicate

Summing up, the solution of Barcelona is very efficient and could be replicated in some cities. However, the strength of the T-verda tickets is that it can be extended to the entire metropolitan area of the city. So the Barcelona solution could be replicated in those cities that has an effective public transport system all over their metropolitan area. So Milan became not the good example.