The metro service has dragged on for several years a pending issue in the Ribera that is closer to being remedied: travel time. This public transport, which connects the interior of the Ribera Alta with the provincial capital, has always stood out for its low frequency of passage, which has not made it the ideal ally it should be when traveling to Valencia. Now, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana plans a series of investments that will make it possible to unfold some tracks and, thus, reduce the time it takes to cover the journey.
The Minister for Territorial Policy, Public Works and Mobility, Arcadi Spain, presented this week the Plan for the Improvement of Frequencies of the Metrovalencia network planned for the coming years, which will have an investment of 235 million euros. This includes more than 90 million euros will be invested in the metro lines to unfold sections of single track; increase the escape and crossing points in different sections on the surface; abolish level crossings, and modernize interlocks and train protection systems. The councilor himself has already made his intentions known to the mayors of the region.
The line that reaches La Ribera, number 1, has a dozen stops and stations at the different points through which it runs: Castelló, Alberic, Massalavés, L’Alcúdia, Benimodo, Carlet, Alginet and Benifaió. In recent years, this line has gathered slightly less than half a million users annually.
Too many kilometers
Despite this, the subway does not fully penetrate society. It is not seen as a nearby means of transport, as if it could happen with the Cercanias service. At FGV they are aware of this perception and for this reason these improvements have been proposed. There is a factor that becomes decisive to understand this disaffection with the subway in the region: the frequency of the trains, which reaches approximately forty minutes. Such a long period of time that, in the event of losing a convoy, any trip that requires a minimum of punctuality is completely mortgaged. An issue that users and political parties in the region have repeatedly criticized in recent years. In addition, this circumstance has always made it the best option to use private transport or travel to a neighboring town that has a train station.
The main drawback has always been the naturalness of the infrastructure itself, which implies numerous technical complexities when addressing solutions. It is a section of many kilometers made up of a single track, which prevents the launch of several convoys simultaneously. The train is coming or going. But it cannot make a trip in each direction.
Hence the need to unfold some sections, an idea that was already considered since last year as the most feasible, as advanced by Levante-EMV. The implementation of a second track at strategic points would allow, for example, that a convoy could move aside for a few moments to make way for another, in the opposite direction, which would reduce the frequency times between trains.