Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, is to construct a new bus rapid transit system, to be known as MetroGuagua, with the financial support of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Work will begin on the high-capacity line over the next quarter, with the aim of building 11.7 kilometres of roadway dedicated to bus transport.
“MetroGuagua, which will connect Hoya de la Plata with Manuel Becerra (75 percent of daily journeys within the city take place in this area), will not only improve public mobility in the lower part of the city, but also enable the restructuring of the entire network, providing a better service in the suburbs, where journey and waiting times will be reduced,” said José Eduardo Ramírez, Councillor and Chairman of Guaguas Municipales.
In addition to the construction of the new bus lanes, the €50 million project includes the purchase of 17 new environmentally-friendly electric or hybrid buses, and the construction of three new stations, 17 stops and a traffic control centre.
The new bus lanes will run along the coast, together with the major transport arteries, and will help promote tourism in the city as an alternative to the resorts on the south of the island.
EIB support and the Investment Plan for Europe guarantee have facilitated the long-term financing needed to ensure the viability of a project that will create 1,000 jobs during its construction phase and until it enters into service in 2021.
“Cleaner, more efficient urban transport networks improve the vibrancy of cities and the quality of life of their residents,” said Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. “This agreement provides another example of how the Investment Plan is making a valuable contribution towards creating a more energy efficient future for Europe. I am also delighted that more than 1,000 jobs will be supported during the construction.”
The project also covers the creation of a new bicycle lane and the improvement and widening of pavements bordering the new bus lanes.