27th March 2023
Finally, after a long time of waiting, the underground reached the city centre in Malaga, Habemus Metro. It’s been a long wait. The train did the first trip on Monday, just in time to allow thousands of visitors to reach the centre during Easter Week, when Málaga will have tens of parades honouring Jesus Christ’s resurrection. It will help Malaga´s Green Revolution towards Expo2027: A Sustainability City
Junta de Andalucia´s president, Juanma Moreno Bonilla, announced it: Habemus Metro in Malaga. He and a media committee did the inaugural trip from Atarazana station in Alameda Principal to El Perchel station besides El Corte Ingles, to Guadalmedina station in Maria Zambrano. This route will ease traffic congestion during Esaster Week when traditionally there are unexpected diversions.
Juanma Moreno said in the inaugural event: «This infrastructure will avoid 3.5 million car trips. It will help the green revolution which shall be one of the main targets of society.
«For me is a very special day as a malagueño.»
Metro Málaga already has two underground lines. This new phase adds two more stops in the heart of the town. However, some voices are asking to get it further. The fact that local elections will be held next May has nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.
Dani Perez, the opposition leader and candidate for Mayor, recalls PSOE began this infrastructure when it was in La Junta. He said the new government is just ending it. He requests to reach El Palo in East Málaga: «We advise La Junta president stop blowing hot air and start governing instead of doing propaganda.
«Six months ago he came to Malaga city centre to inaugurate a ghost station without a single train; it was the same station he is opening now.»
Nevertheless, there have been some complaints regarding the size of Atarazana station, which is small compared with other stations and might bring complications to deal with a mass, such as it will be in Semana Santa o La Feria. The station´s likely to be closed in peak hours on these dates.
Public and sustainable transport
On Sunday, it was a cycling demonstration in the city centre of hundreds of people claiming a bike-friendly city with a decent bike lane network and infrastructures such as bike parking and uppermost cars complicity. The bike has a myriad of benefits, from health to money, and on top of that, it helps the traffic flow. Moreover, Málaga, a sunny city and relatively flat, is pretty bikeable.
Rosa Galindo, from Verdes-Equo a green party, says they always encourage people to use public transport, but she also requests a sustainable transport plan in Malaga: «Last Sunday we were in a massive bike demonstration claiming for a decent bike lane network, well connected and safe.»
Primer y probablemente único video de la estación de Atarazanas y el Metro de Malaga vacío. 🚆 A pesar de todo, un avance hacia un transporte sostenible. #Malaga #Metro #TransporteSostenible #Porfin pic.twitter.com/rjLKMNOxcx
— Juan Villanueva (@juanelev) March 27, 2023
Malaga is calling for sustainability, as other European cities are pushing, and public transport plays a critical role. There are several options, and the government has been calling for an underground for over a decade. However, despite the delay and the conflict it has brought, Malaga is moving towards becoming a sustainable city.
Public Transport in Eastern Week
Easter Week, or Semana Santa, is comparable to La Feria in terms of people’s turnout. There are 45 brotherhoods which move Christ & Virgin Mary sculptures surrounded by Nazarenos procession. Each brotherhood has a couple of hundred members, which drives deep passion. Usually, it rains -each year less due to the climate crisis, though- and authorities, brothers and affectionate push until the very last chance to take out their impressive thrones, a wood structure weighing more than 3,000 kg carried barehand by men and women. Until recently only men were allowed, but rules are changing slowly.
This year, the thread between the council hall and the brotherhood union nearly broke when the council said it would be «flexible» with the hospitality industry, whose terraces occupy the streets. It’s a traditional complaint from Málaga people that bars and restaurants occupy the city centre, but this time the objection has been raised because the thrones can not pass through. The air brings smells of war.
Nevertheless, it’s a great week that people worldwide should enjoy at least once. It´s breathtaking to see a whole procession go through narrow streets to accompany their lord with long candles and dressed in a robe and a conical hood -No KKK related-. Therefore to enjoy a safe Easter Week this year, use public transport because finally, Habemus Metro in Malaga.