The project for the construction of priority corridors for buses on interurban roads in Catalonia has spent more than five years waiting for its moment in a drawer in the Territori department. There was always something more of a priority in which to invest, until the European Next Generation funds arrived and allowed the first phase of rapid bus actions to be dusted off, which is known in international jargon as BRT and which has come to be here. name BRCat.
With 67 million fallen from the sky of Brussels, the Generalitat will push forward the first six fast bus corridors in interurban connections such as Girona and Salt, Sabadell and Terrassa and Blanes and Lloret. The works are not associated with any investment in the creation of new lines or the purchase of large-capacity buses to provide service, so that users can find themselves with a wonderful infrastructure but without an improved service, which in the end is what matters .
The exception is the transformation of the C-245 between Castelldefels and Cornellà de Llobregat passing through Gavà, Viladecans and Sant Boi. This action, half-executed by the Generalitat and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB), is the model to follow for the other five actions that are in the drafting phase of the construction project with the intention of making them a reality in 2025.
Much earlier, this summer, the works on the C-245, which have been underway for two and a half years, will be finished. The old regional road through which some 22,000 vehicles circulate daily will be consolidated as an urban road as it passes through the urban centers and will become more accessible in industrial or uninhabited sections. It will have one bus lane in each direction along 10 kilometers and will also incorporate innovative solutions such as a roundabout crossed by an exclusive lane for buses in the center as a clear demonstration of the priority that will be given to public transport.
Those responsible for the project calculate that the buses will cut the journey time between Cornellà and Castelldefels by up to a quarter of an hour, currently weighed down by congestion at rush hour and constant red traffic lights. The infrastructure will be accompanied by a prioritization system that will turn the traffic lights green when public transport passes. To make the most of it, the AMB will launch a new bus line, the M8, with 12 articulated buses that will travel the corridor from end to end as if it were a tram. In addition to the bus lane in both directions, the action is accompanied by a two-way bike lane and new, wider sidewalks in both urban and interurban sections.
When the C-245 is already operational, work will begin on the other five corridors, each of them adapted to the environment and with its specific characteristics. One of the most used will be the Salt-Girona, 3.5 kilometers that are the main axis of communication between the two cities. The link between the Blanes train station and the Lloret bus station on the GI-682 road will be longer. In this case, the bus lane will alternate from one side to the other instead of having continuity. The one on the C-59, for its part, between Caldes de Montbui and Palau-Solità i Plegamans will have a new cycle path shared with pedestrians.
It is the same system that will be carried out between Sabadell and Castellar, on the B-124, with five kilometers of bus lane accompanied by shared space for cyclists and pedestrians. The last of the projects will be on the N-150 between Sabadell and Terrassa, the main axis that connects the two cities of Vallès, and whose main transformation is concentrated between the Terrassa hospital and the Egara police complex.