Multimodel commuting might sound complicated, but it’s pretty simple: it’s simply using a variety of transport to get to work: so you might ride an electric scooter to the station to get your train to the office. Well, public transport bosses in Barcelona have come up with a way of combining the two even further – by using Metro trains to charge personal electric vehicles.
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Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) is trailing a system where e-scooters can be charged up in special secure lockers at a station. And the energy that powers those lockers comes is recaptured from Metro trains under braking, using a system similar to that featured on electric cars.
Called Metrolinera, the project is a small scale initiative for now, with nine lockers at the Ciutadella-Vila Olimpica station, which was chosen because of its location near a major university, the Barcelona zoo and the huge Parc de la Ciutadella.
Laia Bonet, the president of TMB said that the system would integrate “the public transport service into the journeys of those people who combine personal mobility products – such as electric scooters – in their daily journeys, and the subway itself.”
The concept was developed out of an entrepreneurship initiative that a division of TMB launched among its employees, which sought out ways to better integrate the Metro with leisure activities.
Privately owned electric scooters have been legal in Spain since January 2021. Here in the UK, it remains illegal to use a private e-scooter on public roads, although the government has announced plans to legalise them as part of a new Transport Bill that could be introduced in 2023. So while a growing number of UK public transport services are offering storage and charging points at stations, it’s unlikely anything similar to the Barcelona e-scooter charging service will be introduced here soon.
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