Barcelona launches this Monday the X1, its first fast urban bus

From the ends of Francesc and Glòries to the city center in just 10 or 13 minutes, and the entire route in a maximum of 20. This is the letter of introduction with which the new fast bus X1 – the first of the network TMB’s XPRESBus, which opens this Monday – wants to position itself as an agile surface transport to attract new travelers.

The metropolitan company highlights that the new line will mean a significant saving in travel time, between 30% and 40% compared to other bus lines that circulate in the area, such as 6 or 7. It has been assured this Friday its CEO, Gerardo Lertxundi, during the blank run of one of the vehicles.

The line, which will operate on weekdays with frequencies of 8 minutes, will link its ends with the center in 10 or 13 minutes and will cover the entire route in 20

The greater speed of the X1 will be possible thanks to its status as a semi-direct bus, with fewer stops than the other routes. Thus, it will be able to circulate at commercial speeds of 14 or 15 km / h, higher than the 12 km / h on average that the TMB surface network has as a whole and which are even lower in the city center.

The XPRESBus brand will be distinguished by its black color and the letter X before the line number. This first, which will not replace any other of those that currently provide service, has been designed with characteristics that differentiate it from the existing offer. Throughout its journey, it will follow reserved lanes (going through Villarroel and Gran Via, back through Aragó and Urgell).

The new service will facilitate quick access to the center of the Trambaix and Trambesòs travelers from Francesc Macià and Glòries

The X1 route will only have four stops in each direction (Hospital Clínic, Universitat / Aribau, Passeig de Gràcia and Passeig de Sant Joan) plus the two terminals. In total ten, four newly created and exclusive use of the new line. It will use low- or zero-emission vehicles (initially six gas hybrids and then hydrogen-cell electric vehicles will be added).

The new line will operate from September to July on weekdays from seven in the morning to ten at night with frequencies of eight minutes, ten in the last hour of service. This schedule is based on the fact that the x1 is designed for compulsory mobility, which is done for work or study reasons.

TMB estimates a demand of 4,000 daily users and one million per year, 30% coming from private vehicles

TMB estimates a demand of 4,000 daily users and one million per year, 30% coming from private vehicles. In addition to speed, its appeal will be intermodality. The route is designed to facilitate quick access to the center of the Trambaix and Trambesòs travelers from Francesc Macià and Glòries, respectively.

A unit of the X1 tested yesterday while driving through Plaza Francesc Macià

Mané Espinosa

The operator is studying an extension along the Diagonal to Plaza Maria Cristina, which is a point of arrival for intercity buses. “We favor connectivity and intermodality, at TMB we have a metropolitan vocation and to move people between municipalities and this line will help people who arrive at the entrance of Barcelona to quickly access the city center”, highlighted the president of company and Councilor for Mobility of Barcelona, ​​Rosa Alarcón, who also attended the march in white accompanied by representatives of several municipalities (Sant Adrià, l’Hospitalet, Esplugues and Sant Just). The company wants to implement more XPRESBus lines and is already analyzing it.

The president of TMB and Councilor for Mobility, Rosa Alarcón, emphasizes that the X1 cannot replace the future union of trams on the Diagonal

Alarcón has also clarified that line X1 does not intend to replace the future tram connection, since while this new semi-direct bus route intends to connect Francesc Macià i Glòries with the city center quickly, the tram connection through Diagonal seeks link these two squares in a straight line, without serving the most central area.

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