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Madrid gets its first BRT line

© EMT/ City of Madrid

The mayor of Madrid together with the Management of the public transport operator Empresa Municipal de Transporte (EMT) presented the project of a first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) bus line for Spain’s capital to the public on 7 February 2023. Ten new electric buses in BRT design supllied by Basque manufacturer Irizar e-mobility of its “ie tram” model will run mainly on separate lanes and with traffic light preference from May 2023. The new line will connect the Valdebebas neighbourhood, which has grown rapidly in recent years, with the Hospital Ramón y Cajal in the north of the city over a length of 15.5 km. On approximately two-thirds of the route, the buses travel on a separate lane segregated from the rest of the traffic. During the construction of the new part of the city, the route, which is mostly structurally separated from the other lanes, had already been built to a large extent.


Irizar is delivering ten 12-metre-long “ie trams” to EMT as part of a large order for a total of 90 two-axle electric buses for delivery in the current year 2023. The special design is intended to make the vehicles immediately recognisable as “Bus Rapid” from the outside. Ticket vending machines will be installed at the bus stops to replace the ticket sales that are usually carried out by the driver at the EMT and to ensure a smooth flow of operations. The new line will have a journey time of 30 minutes, with connections to the metro, the suburban railway (Cercanías), the tram in the Sanchinarro district and numerous EMT bus lines at various points. Frequency on the new line will be 8 to 12 minutes during the day.

5 .3 million euros will be invested in the procurement of the vehicles, and a further 12.8 million euros in the construction of the route and the traffic light priority.

Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, together with representatives of the city administration and Empresa Municipal de Transportes (EMT) Managing Directo Alfonso Sánchez | © EMT/ City of Madrid
© EMT/ City of Madrid