Torre Baró is located in a secluded part of Barcelona’s Nou Barris district. It is one of the most unique residential neighborhoods in the Collserola mountain range, as almost 3,000 of its inhabitants have to contend with a steep 400-meter incline on a daily basis. The slope is abrupt enough to discourage pedestrians from walking it, and it can prove to be problematic for both senior and disabled citizens.
Until very recently, there were only two bus lines covering this part of the neighborhood, and both lines were unable to provide a thorough community-wide service as many of the roads are too winding and narrow for traditional buses. Historically, there has never been any direct bus line connecting those residents living on the upper side of Torre Baró with the shops and services that are located on lower the side, where the main transportation connections (train, metro, bus) are. As a result, a journey that should have only taken 5 minutes could often last 45 minutes when using public transportation as passengers had to make two connections.
To address this problem, Barcelona City Council has resorted to on-demand transportation for the first time ever and City officials will now aim to provide Torre Baró with better connections to main transportation hubs whilst increasing capillarity within the area. The current deployment consists of a mini-bus with a 18 passenger capacity, which covers an area of 1.5 km2 and provides service to 28 stops. The new service is available 7 days a week (7:00-20:30 on weekdays, 8:00-20:30 on Saturdays, and 9:00- 20:30 on Sundays).
All rides can be booked via the 'ElMeuBus' App which was developed by Shotl and is now available on iOS and Android, or via phone call. The latest version of the App allows you to hail a ride whilst also being able to view pre-scheduled bookings. As the technology enables both types of user requests to be matched with a moving vehicle in real-time, it is now possible to constantly calculate the best route available. What’s more, the App takes specific user profiles into account so that wheelchair users or passengers carrying a baby or a stroller can be serviced more accurately.
All of us here at Shotl are proud of this new collaboration in Torre Baró as it is making life easier for its residents. Stay tuned as we'll be publishing primary results in the coming days!
Groundbreaking technologies are transforming the way we get around town, only this could be causing a new disparity among us.