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Old September 20th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #1
Chusanch
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ZARAGOZA | Public Transport

Zaragoza, 5th biggest city in Spain, with over 700.000 inhabitants is looking at how to improve public transport. 2006 was the year in which the PIT (Multimodal Transport Plan) was presented to the society. The plan focused on the construction of 3 Tram routes that would cover diagonally, the different corridors, which would mean a considerable restructure of the local public transport.

In 2008, there are 37 bus routes, served by TUZSA, the biggest private urban transport operator in Spain, as bigger cities are operated by council owned companies. Until the celebration of the EXPO this year, the buses were the only way to get around. The EXPO brought the short commuter train line C1, operated by RENFE, the Spanish Main Train operator. It's 5 stops along 16kms of existing rails. An hourly service with additional services during peak hours, which make it half hourly, run from 6.40 to 23.30. Use is not huge, but amazingly enough, it is getting over the initial expectations.

2009 is the year when FINALLY, we will see the beginning of the works to build the new Tram Line (North - South Line) that will link Parque Goya with Valdespartera. Initially, it was going to be build all in one go, but, as usual, politicians have found a better way. Only half section (South - Centre) (Valdespartera - Plaza Paraíso) is going to start in 2009. Even the depot that originally was planned in the North Section, has now been planned in the South. The change in the plans responds to some "fishy" way of acting. Everything will eventually crop up.

Studies are being done for the East - West line, which is planned to be underground. Recently, a Study was presented, showing two possible itineraries. We will see what comes out of this in the short term.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 12:36 AM   #2
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I don´t understand why they choose a LTR. Zaragoza is a very dens city and trams will probably not meet the capacity needs. They should have opted for heavy rail, a north-south line of 7-8 km and an east-west line of similar length. I mean the city is just perfect for a subway, very dens and very compact so a large network isn't necessary.

It is odd that the spanish government can splurge money on infrastructure projects in Madrid but fail to address the transport needs of the citizens of Zaragoza.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 06:47 AM   #3
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I think that the problem here is that our politicians don't really know what they want. The North South Tram Line (Not LRT) looks good on their profile. They come back to the population saying that the ground in Zaragoza is full of Roman and Arabic remains that would stop the project, that the soil is not suitable for underground, and that the River Ebro would not be suitable for a tunnel to cross it. Of course they are not sustained by real arguments.

The opposition is not helping either and the choice of whether it should be Tram or underground seems to be a political issue rather than a reality.

However, the East - West Line seems to be ok to be underground. This has kept the opposition somehow quiet, but recent studies are trying to take the underground right in the centre, where... Roman and Arabic remains are...

As you see, it is all political verbal diarrhœa that has passed onto the population that seems to be convinced with the arguments of whatever political party they support. Again, the society is divided.

Personally, I have always preferred the term LRT for the North-South line, with a clear section underground in the city centre, and overground in the residential districts, where roads are wider. The East-West line is a bit more complicated to be LRT in the section proposed. It runs under the consolidated city, where there is hardly space for the existing traffic, let alone the tram. Therefore, it is logical to go underground. But this line is born too short, and logic says that populated districts at both ends should also be served by the line, therefore, extensions should be necessary.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #4
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Traffic light priority

Little by little, we get new details of what the new Tram 1 line is going to mean.

Today, a study was presented to show who the priority of the tram at traffic lights is going to affect the traffic...

Basically, it shows that the tram will have total priority at intersection (they are over 100 of them). You can imagin that driving around the city will be somehow... impossible.

Speed of the line has increased from 18 as planned originally to 20,5 kms/h. Current bus network seems to have an avarage of 16.

20 minutes will take, with this system, to reach the city centre from either side (Valdespartera - Centre will start construction next year, due to be opperative in 2010).

Good news for public transport in the city... not so good for drivers (but I think, that is the point the council is try to apply).
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Old September 28th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #5
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Commuter Line C1

Some days back, figures of use of the first "mini" commuter line in Zaragoza were published in the local press. In 3 months, 125.000 people have used it. Taking into consideration that the line has been in operation for 93 days, and new trains were brought in to give a good service for its 43 daily services, it comes down to an average use of 31 passengers per trip, which is not much if we take it out of context.

The line is incomplete. It was rushed open with one terminus still under construction for the opening of EXPO ZARAGOZA 2008. However, a centric station will be constructed in order to make the service more effective. Also, additional extensions on the existing rail network will improve the use of this line.

Additionally, there are already talks to invest on a C2 line, that will link the multimodal Delicias station with the Exhibition Centre (and a shuttle bus to the nearby Zaragoza Airport) and the line would continue along the Valencia Road corridor, a corridor that holds a lot of industry and several new towns in constant growth as the prices for housing are lower than in the capital.

Recently, it was announced a plan to build 10.000 flats in an area on the north of the city, along the north railway line, that has always been on the look to be the extension towards the north of the new proposed C2 Line. Investment would be needed basically on stations, as the tracks are already there. The line is single track, so in both cases, the frequency will be limited.

Also, there is another limitation, that is, the volume of transit that the Goya Tunnels can hold, that unfortunately, doesn’t allow many trains to go through. Currently, the tunnel is double track, however, one track is used by the High Speed Train Line (Madrid - Zaragoza - Barcelona) with International European Gauge, and the Commuter and Regional trains, with Spanish Gauge, use the other one.

My proposal, in that case, would be to create lines that would connect with the main C1 line that would be the one crossing the tunnel; C2, would run south of the city from and C3 would link Miraflores with the north of the city and surroundings.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY FOR THE TRAM REQUESTED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Well, here we go again. Zaragoza Tramline is in its final stage, due to start work early next year, and the Aragon Regional Goverment's Enironmental Office comes now with a request of an Environmental Study...

Yet again, it shows that our politicians, no matter whether they are in office or in the opposition, are as bad as eachother. Environmental studies, should have been studied in the first stage of the project, therefore, the Council, has not done part of its job. The Regional Government, has waited until nearly the end of the project, to claim this... To see if there are further details.

Completion of the first section (Centre - Valdespartera (South city)) is expected to be for 2010 elections. Therefore if the tram is not finished for then... it will look bad on the Council Ruling parties...

In the meantime, Zaragoza suffers the lack of capacity of buses, over 14 year buses (maximum age allowed for public transportation) to cope with extra demand (Expo, Festivities...), non compliance of frequencies... while our politicians are looking at different issues to stop or to promote the construction of Zaragoza's first tram line.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 10:21 PM   #7
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wow... i don't know about Zaragoza traffic conditions but i'm surprised 700k city doesn't have much dense public transport network... and just now they decide on trams... i think best way would be underground... my city Zagreb has almost 1 million people and it is time for metro although no politician want to take that burden...

average speed of our trams is 10-15km/h believe it or not, and i will be amazed if your trams can go faster... traffic lights and other traffic will make a drive a living hell...
something is wrong with those links you provided so i couldn't see the plans... i just hope there will be tram lines that go along road with minimal intersections... trams that drive inside of car lanes tend to be very slow...
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Old October 4th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #8
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Thank you DJZG for your comments. It is true that Metro, for such a long heavily urban area would have been preferrable. However, there is a key issue involved. Lack of Founding.

They have calculated that the one line will be 12.8 kms, running north-south from the city, and crossing the city centre.



City centre section, marked with a red line, is expected to be a section without catenary, that will be hidden under the tracks...

I still believe that at least, the city centre section, until the Hospital, should have been done underground.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #9
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lack of funding is a problem everywhere... except maybe in Dubai or something like that...

looking at your map i think they planned it good... i think it should cover the basic travel directions in city and probably will ease traffic...
i'm not sure about travel time but comparing to my town, if we have similar conditions, it shouldn't be too fast...

and yes, they should have went underground under the city centre... sometimes in the future it will be so, for sure...

what is on west-east direction? how is traffic in those parts? any plans for tram lines there?

you keep track on updates... post some rendering here so we can see progress
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Old October 4th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chusanch View Post
Zaragoza, 5th biggest city in Spain, with over 700.000 inhabitants...

Zaragoza has over 600.000 inhabitants, but not 700.000!



source: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaragoza#Demograf.C3.ADa
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Old October 4th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #11
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Hahahahaha... Ok.. yes, council statistics say that we are 660.895 registered citizens, but you know there is a floating population that roughly takes us to 700.000 people, that is what generally happens in all cities.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #12
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Here is the map I have worked on, with the Existing New C1 Commuter Line, that will probably have extensions on both ends, and Goya Station is due to start work on 2009. This station will also interchange with the T1 Tram Line. Also C2 line is under study, and implantation will also seems to be done in stages.



As for Trams, T1 is clear from the previous map. However, initial plans showed a shorter route. Sections in orange have been approved already. The line will start construction early next year, and will open in 2011 (for the elections) only half, from Valdespartera to Gran Vía Terminus. By 2013, the second part will be completed.

T2 and T3, the routes are partly designed, but will still need to define further extensions (which for an unknown reason, haven't been done). These are the 3 lines:
T-1: Parque Goya-Plaza de España-Valdespartera
T-2: Los Enlaces-Plaza de España-Las Fuentes
T-3: Avd. de Cataluña-Plaza de España-Torrero
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gincan View Post
I don´t understand why they choose a LTR. Zaragoza is a very dense city and trams will probably not meet the capacity needs. They should have opted for heavy rail, a north-south line of 7-8 km and an east-west line of similar length. I mean the city is just perfect for a subway, very dens and very compact so a large network isn't necessary.

It is odd that the spanish government can splurge money on infrastructure projects in Madrid but fail to address the transport needs of the citizens of Zaragoza.
I fully agree with you, thisi city is very dense and doesn't have anything in common with those similar size cities in central Europe where the trams are working fine. Those cities outskirts do have a lower population density and wider avenues.

Most districts developed in the 50-60's of XXth century are 6-7 story blocks in narrow avenues and streets. With narrow I mean 16 meters between buildings, and there there's not room for a tram with exclusive path and private traffic, so that's the reason for choosing an underground solution which as Chusanch says could go on street level in the newer districts (those built from 1970's onwards) where there are much wider avenues.

About what you say with Madrid, actually isn't exactly as you told, but looking deeper is more or less the same. All of the undreground works in Madrid area are paid by the regional government, not the central one. But the regional government of Madrid's funds are much bigger than any other regiona as they collect taxes from many national and multinational companies that operate in all Spain but do have their HQ's there.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chusanch View Post
Some days back, figures of use of the first "mini" commuter line in Zaragoza were published in the local press. In 3 months, 125.000 people have used it. Taking into consideration that the line has been in operation for 93 days, and new trains were brought in to give a good service for its 43 daily services, it comes down to an average use of 31 passengers per trip, which is not much if we take it out of context.

The line is incomplete. It was rushed open with one terminus still under construction for the opening of EXPO ZARAGOZA 2008. However, a centric station will be constructed in order to make the service more effective. Also, additional extensions on the existing rail network will improve the use of this line.

Additionally, there are already talks to invest on a C2 line, that will link the multimodal Delicias station with the Exhibition Centre (and a shuttle bus to the nearby Zaragoza Airport) and the line would continue along the Valencia Road corridor, a corridor that holds a lot of industry and several new towns in constant growth as the prices for housing are lower than in the capital.

Recently, it was announced a plan to build 10.000 flats in an area on the north of the city, along the north railway line, that has always been on the look to be the extension towards the north of the new proposed C2 Line. Investment would be needed basically on stations, as the tracks are already there. The line is single track, so in both cases, the frequency will be limited.

Also, there is another limitation, that is, the volume of transit that the Goya Tunnels can hold, that unfortunately, doesn’t allow many trains to go through. Currently, the tunnel is double track, however, one track is used by the High Speed Train Line (Madrid - Zaragoza - Barcelona) with International European Gauge, and the Commuter and Regional trains, with Spanish Gauge, use the other one.

My proposal, in that case, would be to create lines that would connect with the main C1 line that would be the one crossing the tunnel; C2, would run south of the city from and C3 would link Miraflores with the north of the city and surroundings.

Hi Chusanch,

I'd like to add some information that it's interesting to take into account here.

As many of you will know, the spanish railway network doesn't have the european standard gauge (1435 mm). We have a wider one. This stupid thing was originated in the times when the railways networks began to develop in the middle XIX th century. The fear of a new french invasion (there was one in 1808-14) and more probably the idea of that a wider gauge will allow bigger and more powerful locomotives for the mountain landscape of the country.

16 years ago in 1992 the first high speed line in Spain choose the european gauge as new standard, in order to connect with the franch and then rest of european high speed network. Now the development of high speed lines has been bigger and again Zaragoza is a knot of the spanish network .

There's a project of migrating all the inside city lines to european gauge, leaving bypasses for the spanish narrow lines which in a few years will only be used for freight.

With that project, a pilot in the country for the forthcoming huge conversion to 1435 gauge, the lines that cross the city in tunnels will be again double lines, so there will be room for higher commuter line frequencies.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #15
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Totally agree, Pedro. Good to have you here too.

There have been rummors, that apparently, they are looking at Zaragoza's Commuter Train Network to use the International Gauge... but so far it is Spanish Gauge... This would mean problems to expand the commuter lines.

There are many factors that need to be clarified so far... we will have to wait and see.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chusanch View Post
Hahahahaha... Ok.. yes, council statistics say that we are 660.895 registered citizens, but you know there is a floating population that roughly takes us to 700.000 people, that is what generally happens in all cities.
Ok...easy...I don't care indeed how much people lives in Zaragoza, but I don't like when someone is adding 50 000 people to official statistics I know that city Zaragoza has growing population but over 700 000 inhabitants it will achieve approximately in the year 2017.

Moreover I'm surprise that in Spain where capital city Madrid has one of the fastest full metro stystem growing in the world, one of the biggest city of this country-Zaragoza don't have any underground or tunnel section for fast tram up to now. I mean somethig similar we have in Krakow.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...=483918&page=2
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Old October 6th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #17
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I wish we had Madrid's Major over here... HE is very dynamic and works to make Madrid move with public transport.

Over here, unfortunately, our politicians seem to be really amateurs, because, to start with, they are not sustaining their decisions with strong arguments.

Acording to them, Zaragoza will never be able to have a Full metro network because :
  • The River ... (it seems the sole city with a river... It is IMPOSSIBLE to cross it...)
  • The soil is not solid enough to hold a Metro network... (but is good enough to have 4 floors of underground carparks in certain buildings...)
  • The Archeological Remains. City centre still hides a lot of Roman and Arab remains. Only Independecia Ave., The main avenue in Zaragoza City Centre, holds the arabic suburb of the city, that due to the fragility of the remains, once found, was hidden again, in order to get traffic running on top...
Now, you can laugh!!!!

Those in favour of the tram, because, these are here too, say that in order to save the archeological remains, the tunnels would have to be built so deep down, that getting out or in... would mean such a long time that would make people avoid using it...

You can continue laughing now...

This is what we have in the city... Politicians are now trying to undermine all the progress for the tram... which will mean, that if all continues like this, Zaragoza will continue with solely a bus network...

The tram may not be the best solution, but so far, it is good for me. Although, I have said many times, that it will only be effective when all the lines are implemented, as well as a circular line, that so far, the plans don't contemplate, but enthiusiast have mentioned.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 04:49 PM   #18
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I don't know what to expect from the Tram. I find difficult to understand how Tram is going to make traffic more fluid in areas such as Gran Vía and Fernando el Católico, where traffic jams are constant and huge every single day.

I know underground is a massive system which implies loads of money which simply Zaragoza cannot afford nowadays, not after Expo2008 and with the historical lack of funding we receive from Madrid, but you cannot argue it could for once relieve traffic jams and reduce time between journeys.


P.S: Nice from you, Chusanch, showing non-speaking people, the advances in our city regarding means of transport. Keep it on.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 07:29 PM   #19
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I think the whole idea of pointing out that the Tram is going to solve the traffic problems is wrong. Of course it isn't. However, if the trams runs as fast and fluid as the plans say, it will improve considerably urban transportation.

It will definitely create problems in main roads, that will lose one lane, but the whole idea is to reduce the use of private vehicles to access the city centre. Those crossing the city, will have to choose a different way.

In theory, I find the project really interesting, but as I said before, the system will not be effective until the 3 lines are built, (and the circular would also be interesting)
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Old October 8th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chusanch View Post
Here is the map I have worked on, with the Existing New C1 Commuter Line, that will probably have extensions on both ends, and Goya Station is due to start work on 2009. This station will also interchange with the T1 Tram Line. Also C2 line is under study, and implantation will also seems to be done in stages.



As for Trams, T1 is clear from the previous map. However, initial plans showed a shorter route. Sections in orange have been approved already. The line will start construction early next year, and will open in 2011 (for the elections) only half, from Valdespartera to Gran Vía Terminus. By 2013, the second part will be completed.

T2 and T3, the routes are partly designed, but will still need to define further extensions (which for an unknown reason, haven't been done). These are the 3 lines:
T-1: Parque Goya-Plaza de España-Valdespartera
T-2: Los Enlaces-Plaza de España-Las Fuentes
T-3: Avd. de Cataluña-Plaza de España-Torrero


Hello:

First of all, thanks to Chusanch for this map. As you can see there, they appears tram and commuter train project.

Commuter train is running since last June but with the handicap of main station pending to be built. Without this station this train has no sense, well... it still serves to move people but not enough.

Let me describe the city of Zaragoza: It is the fifth city in Spain, located less than 350 km. from Valencia, Madrid, Valladolid, Bilbao and Barcelona in Spain and Pau and Toulouse in France. I think this makes more than 25 million people in this area. It has, more or less 650.000 inhabitants but it is located "in the middle of nothing". This is... it is the capital of Aragon, one region that takes 10% of Spanish area but only 2% of population, where half is on the capital. It is a very important cross of motorways, roads and railways but has little towns around. It doesn't matter if we consider little towns in 20 km. area, or higher towns in a 100 km. area. There is no population there (just two 50.000 people cities in a 100 km. around area).
Zaragoza, itself, is made of too many neighbourhoods... "all together". Taking care of its size, it is not difficult to go on foot to many places because distances are not very big (comparing to any other cities with the same population). This makes that with a very dense bus network, mobility is assured.

Commuter train was made with an old tunnel built in the 70s where trains keep going, not just local trains but also high speed trains. This is... no tunnel was made for this new commuter train.

Problem about arabic and roman ruins exists!!!. Maybe there will be thousans of solutions but five years ago the main avenue on the city was on works. Major wanted to built a four deck carpark and make a new avenue. When they arrived to second deck they found on the soul the arabic ruins. Finally carpark was not made... but ruins where covered!!!!! (they could take the opportunity to make a museum under the avenue with those ruins as well as we have another with a Roman forum).
Yes... everyone can laugh now... but these things happens on this city.

Bus network is very dense and most of lines crosses by city centre. Neighbourhoods located on different sides of the city are connected between them using lines that goes, first of all to city centre and continue award later.
This makes that in six avenues you can find at least 70% or more of all bus routes (I have no official dates, if someone has them, please correct me if necessary)
Tram project takes those six avenues and propose to replace them with a tram. This is... there will be no bus lines and tram lines together. In some avenues there are several lines that goes together for a while and finally each one has its own destination. Tram will replace all of them and each destination will have a shuttle line to connect with tram.
Apart of tram lines, those neighbourhoods with less traffic will remain bus lines as well as lines that connect some places without crossing city centre.

Subway has some advantages that everyone knows, but Tram has some advantages that let me tell you:
- Just 33% cost. With one subway line we built all tram network
- Double number of stations. This is... if in city centre usually we can find one station every 600-800 m for subway, just only 300-400 for tram. This makes people will have to walk half way to get Tram.
- Commuting lines very easy. You can get off one Tram in a quay and get the next one (different line) in the same quay.
- Faster to get. No need to go several meters under soul. Just you get it on the street.

It has its disadvantages (traffic problems) but considering that a normal trip on bus at Zaragoza could be about 2-3 km, maybe it is not so crazy.

About commuter train... it is another topic. It is considered to connect surrounds with city centre. We have just one line and there are a lot of options to enlarge it. Anyway, someone can use it as a subway inside the city. There are no many options and runs every 30 min on rush hours but it is available to everyone.
Anyway, I think that any enlargement will give more service to the own city than to near towns.
We have just a problem for any enlargement: all of them may go on current railway lines. There are some possibilities but not all we should want.
In other words: for commuter train it is not possible to plan a network and built later. Possible network is known and we just have to decide it is possible and necessary.
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aragón, metro, public transport, spain in the world, tram, zaragoza

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