The evolution of intermodality in Madrid

Posted: 11 June 2017 | Javier Aldecoa, Transport Interchanges Project Manager at the Transport Authority of Madrid (CRTM) | 1 comment

Javier Aldecoa, Transport Interchanges Project Manager at the Transport Authority of Madrid (CRTM) gives an overview of Madrid’s inter modal transport evolution, illustrating the journey from the city’s original main ‘gate’ hubs to its current network interchanges.

The evolution of intermodality in Madrid

Being initially a privilege of the aristocratic and bourgeois classes, public transport experienced a boost in development once communication between Madrid and other distant urban centres became a necessity that demanded a more economical and accessible transport system. The increase of these services, along with the diversification of the means of transportation, quickly caused congestion problems at the points of transfer. Throughout the last century, these same problems have been offered with a variety of diverse strategies and solutions – some more successful than others.

All in all, the history of intermodality in Madrid tells the story of an evolution that has allowed the urban web to unite all of its branches, extending from the main gates which have since been transformed into important public transport interchanges.

Since the time of its creation in 1985, the CRTM (the Transport Authority of Madrid) has considered intermodality to be a main priority within the following different fields of action: infrastructure, ticketing and the cities overall image. The integration efforts between different transport modes are most effectively realised within the interchanges.

Essentially, interchanges play the same role in today’s cities as that of the gates in the walls of centuries-old medieval city. At this moment, interchanges are the gates to the cities of the 21st century.

Visionary architect and urban planner, Arturo Soria, who designed Ciudad Lineal at the end of the 19th century, once said that in a time of war, Madrid would be a very vulnerable city due to the ease with which it could be invaded. In such a situation, the city’s only option would be to protect its limited and narrow entryways by trapping citizens inside a dangerous mouse hole. It is true that until the end of the 19th century, when Madrid began to grow beyond its boundaries and initiate an era of urban expansion, the city remained contained behind a giant wall built in 1625. Surprisingly, despite its


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One response to “The evolution of intermodality in Madrid”

  1. Long Branch Mike says:

    This history is interesting, but does not explain why the Cercancias have a separate fare system than the Metro. Certainly this is more important intermodality point than Madrid’s Metro history?

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