SPAIN HAS DESIGNED A MODEL OF ECONOMIC REACTIVATION WITH SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY AS ONE OF THE GREAT BOOSTERS OF EMPLOYMENT UNTIL 2023. THE RAILWAY WILL TAKE 85% OF THE INVESTMENTS DESTINED TO THE NEW DECARBONIZED, DIGITAL, AND CONNECTED TRANSPORT MODEL
In Spain, the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR) represents the strategy to channel European funds aimed at mitigating the impact of the pandemic. The agenda of planned investments and structural reforms seeks to move towards a greener, more digital, more cohesive, and egalitarian Spain.
This plan allocates an investment of 20 billion euros in mobility and urban agenda. The commitment to railway corridors and intermodality will create 130,300 jobs and contribute 9,4 billion to GDP, according to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA).
One of the fields with the highest budgetary dating is mobility, to which 13 billion euros will be allocated. This amount will increase the investment of the Ministry and its companies by approximately 30% in the coming years: In addition, aid to municipalities and autonomous communities will be increased.
On the one hand, the “Mobility action plan in urban and metropolitan environments” has been allocated more than 4.5 billion euros. To this must be added another 2 billion for electromobility and hydrogen, an allocation coordinated by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
In order to advance in the decarbonization of mobility and enhance public transport, more than 1,6 billion euros will be invested in the commuter railway networks.
For long-distance mobility, an investment of 6.7 billion euros is foreseen. The objective is “to advance in more sustainable and digital infrastructures, modal rebalancing”, in addition to completing in 2030 the Atlantic and Mediterranean railway corridors and their extensions.
Of the overall funds allocated to mobility, MITMA will directly implement some €7.6 billion, of which €6.2 billion are earmarked for the railway. Likewise, another €3.6 billion will be allocated to other administrations and companies.
Pillars of the plan
The four transversal pillars through which the European funds are distributed in Spain: ecological transition, digital transformation, social and territorial cohesion and gender equality, are projected in 10 policy levers, with a great capacity to drag on the activity and employment already in the first phase of the Plan, with the horizon 2023, to boost economic recovery in the short term and support a transformation process that increases the productivity and potential growth of the Spanish economy in the future.
These ten levers include the 30 components that articulate coherent investment and reform projects to modernize the country. Although most of them are horizontal, for the economy as a whole, some are specifically aimed at promoting the modernization of driving sectors, such as commerce, tourism, food industry, health, automotive or the public administrations themselves.
Lever I focus on the “Urban and rural agenda, fight against depopulation, and development of agriculture”. Within it, the first of its
three components (C1), named “Action Plan for sustainable, safe and connected mobility in urban and metropolitan environments” includes a battery of measures to promote sustainable public transport and the railway. More specifically, it focuses on the actions planned to boost the commuter network.
Lever II “Resilient infrastructures and ecosystems” includes a specific component, C6, to “sustainable, safe and connected mobility”. This section focuses on detailing the Spanish strategy that has been designed to achieve this change of decarbonized model, the planned development of railway corridors, the support programme developed for emission-free and digital transport, as well as the activities for improving the efficiency of the freight transport and distribution system.
The extraordinary investment foreseen in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan represents an opportunity to build a new transport model. In this sustainable future, the railway sector faces a historic moment to make a modal change a reality where it becomes the main character of sustainable, safe, connected, and digital mobility.