Moving around Madrid, literally.

By | 17 August, 2018 | 0 comments

“Wherever you want as long as it’s easy to park”. This is one of the most commonly heard phrases in Madrid when you arrange to meet with someone. People who don’t live in the city centre usually drive everywhere, sometimes to save time and mostly for comfort.

You can beat comfort by changing your mindset and trying to generate new habits, stimulating them differently, beyond using the metro and bus, which is obvious that if some have reached a certain age and are not convinced by them, they are not going to be regular users.

First of all, the bicycles arrived, the first ones that decided there was an alternative to public transport as we all knew it. Despite making a big impression on arrival and that they are still used by many, a lot of people do not consider them entirely practical, since Madrid is a highly complex city for non-motorised two-wheel vehicles due to traffic, lack of driver patience and endless roundabouts.

Bicycles in Madrid are generating plenty of debate. Right now, it seems that things have levelled off a bit but you do hear drivers shout at cyclists who, timidly, stretch their arm so they can be let through.

Coexistence between bicycles and cars has become a big challenge of civility, respect and tolerance, so its continuity is interesting both for its users, due to the physical and psychological benefits that come with daily exercise; and for the environment due to the lack of fumes they produce.

This, obviously, redounds to the whole population of Madrid in terms of health, proximity and mentality, immersed in a situation of “doomed to mutual understanding”.

Along the lines of trying to rid the city of fumes, after BICIMAD it was the turn of Car 2 Go, Emov and other new companies which are coming on strongly, picking up the baton of what Respiro and Bluemove did in previous years when environmental awareness and shared economy was not widespread but rather the business of a few so-called nerds.

Car 2 Go is a car-sharing service which has been replicated in other European cities. This service allows you to get from A to B in a shared car (subject to availability), although it does not solve the parking problem except for the agreements they have with some car parks in specific areas.

Perhaps motorbikes are the definitive solution? In fact, practically every month there is a new motorbike-sharing service which comes out, the latest promoted by Acciona. These electric motorbikes are not only green but also occupy a lot less space on the road, something which may (slowly and silently) reduce the traffic-jam problem Madrid has if things continue this way.

On the other hand, and much to user satisfaction, they are easier to park, which means that the phrase we mentioned at the start of this post, one of Madrid’s most famous sayings, may become extinct thanks to a mobile app, some of which comprise new ways of moving around the city with these systems.

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