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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Mobility

This September, Formentera welcomes return of public bus ridership to pre-pandemic levels

foto 2022ix autobus AToday the Formentera Office of Mobility seized the opportunity of World Car-Free Day and Sustainable Mobility Week to report on rebounding levels of public bus ridership in the first half of September 2022. During the first fortnight of the month, the island registered 17,399 riders, 0.5% more than the same period two years earlier, before the pandemic. The increase was 25% compared to data for the same two-week period in 2021, when local buses logged 13,924 riders.
According to Rafael González, councillor of mobility, after two years of dwindling ridership, 2022 has come with a renewed impulse and figures similar to those registered before the pandemic. "We've seen a full-on recovery for two reasons: formentera.eco rules concerning vehicles brought and driven on the island, which remained in effect, and discounts for users of public transport", said the councillor.

Including residents and minors, 4,231 people enjoyed free public transport in the first half of September 2022. During the same period in 2019, 200 visitors bought one-day or 20-trip passes. This year the number of visitors who bought such multi-ride passes was 1,308, an increase of 6.5%.

Riders in August
Ridership this August totalled 39,745, a 2% decrease on figures from three years ago. However, compared to 2021, when local buses logged 33,059 riders, ridership was up 20%.

Councillor González expects the number of bus riders to continue rising and encourages islanders and visitors alike "to use public transport by bus, a sustainable way to get around the island".

22 September 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Consell plans new improvements in public transport, cycling routes and road safety for winter season

foto 2022ix actuacions mobilitat AWith European Sustainable Mobility Week under way, the Formentera Office of Mobility is pleased to announce measures in store this winter in public transport, cycling routes and road safety. "The aim is to move forward the Consell's commitment to foment the most sustainable modes of transport, like public transport and bicycles, and continue improving road safety", said Rafael González.

Public transport
The bidding process for the new public transport concession will begin in the final quarter of 2022. It is expected to move through legislation during the winter, with the new service coming on stream by next summer. "It will mean improvements in our bus service and adapt to current needs of residents and visitors", said the councillor.

Principal features of the new service:
• More lines: The number of lines will increase from five to nine, linking every town and major tourist area.
• Increased frequencies and smaller buses tailored to characteristics of the island and local network of roads.

Cycle paths
This winter, the cycling network will be enhanced with bike lanes and nature trails (rutes verdes).
• Bicycle lanes at every roundabout (similar to ironworks [ferreria] roundabout in Sant Ferran)
• Closure of Camí des Brolls to motorised traffic. Trail in Ses Salines Park will be designed for walking, cycling and horseback riding

Road safety
New road safety actions will be carried out on the road network, as established in the Sustainable Mobility Plan and in line with measures implemented in recent years.

Accordingly, speed limits and segments of road where overtaking is permitted will be revised and signage will be improved. Similar operations have already been completed in urban areas, in the industrial park and segments of the highway such as the portions stretching from La Savina to Es Pujols, La Savina to Sant Francesc and Sant Francesc to the Cala Saona turnoff.

Also this winter, in line with an agreement reached by plenary members this legislative term, approval of the Road Safety Plan will be legislated.

21 September 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera offers islanders new help purchasing bicycles or making them electric

foto 2022ix exhibicio bicisToday Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera, and Rafael González, councillor of mobility, visited the exhibition of conventional and electric bicycles held this week in Sant Francesc's Plaça de la Constitució in celebration of Sustainable Mobility Week.

The president expressed her satisfaction with the actions that the Consell de Formentera has backed to promote the use of bicycles, one of the most sustainable and best suited vehicles to the characteristics of the island. "Cycling is a core objective of mobility. We must continue working to promote it and educate people about the importance of moving in more sustainable and healthy ways, and taking the car less is part of that".

New assistance
To continue this momentum, officials presented the new grants that the Consell de Formentera is offering islanders who wish to purchase bicycles or make them electric. The Consell is offering €100 to individuals interested in converting a conventional bicycle into an electric bicycle, €150 to those wishing to buy a conventional bicycle, €250 to individuals keen to buy a conventional bicycle and convert it into an electric bicycle and €450 to islanders who want to purchase an electric bicycle. Applications will be handled by the Citizen Information Office (Oficina d'Atenció a la Ciudadania, OAC) and Virtual Citizen Information Office (Oficina Virtual d'Atenció a la Ciudadania, OVAC) until none of the €11,400 in available assistance remains.

"The first round of assistance was warmly received", said Councillor González, pointing out that thanks to the Consell's help last December, 17 islanders acquired new bicycles. "This new round of assistance is about continuing to boost sustainable mobility", he added. "In response to rising costs we've increased aid by 50%, introduced two new lines of aid to include electric conversion of conventional bicycles and, rather than 11 years old, individuals must now be at least 18 years old to benefit from the assistance, since that is when many young people begin to move independently around the island and we hope to help them to do so by bike", according to Rafael González.

cartell 2022ix ajudes bici

This week Formentera will hold the following activities to celebrate European Mobility Week:

Exhibition of conventional and electric bicycles
20 to 22 September, from 10.00am to 1.00pm in Plaça de la Constitució (Sant Francesc), Formentera's two specialist bike vendors host an exhibition of conventional and electric bicycles. Residents can try bicycles out and, if they like them, will be informed about assistance offered by the Consell de Formentera to purchase them. Among other items on display will be bicycle accessories, such as helmets, lights and vests.

Free tune-ups for residents
20 to 22 September, local cyclists will also benefit from a free servicing and tune-up. Taller Es Brolls Formentera (Carretera de la Savina, km 2) will offer the service from 8.00am to 7.00pm, and Formentera Cycles (Carrer Guillem de Montgrí, 35, Sant Ferran) will offer it from 4.00pm to 8.00pm.

Residents with an ID card and certificate of residence (preferably on mobile phone/paperless) can visit the shops and an expert will offer a free tune-up. The offer includes basic servicing of the chain, wheels and brakes.

20 September 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Cycling on Formentera up 150 % from 2017

foto 2022ix bici CIn the midst of European Sustainable Mobility Week, the Formentera Office of Mobility is pleased to report that, based on comparisons of summertime tallies performed in 2017 and 2022, the use of bicycles has increased by 150%; cycling is up 90% compared to data from 2019 and up 10% compared to data from 2021.

These data come from counts performed on local roads when the number of vehicles crested between 5 and 14 August. Similar tallies were also carried out in 2017, 2019 and 2021. "The data show that mobility trends on the island are changing", said Rafael González, councillor of mobility. "Cycling, a means of transport that is well suited to the characteristics of Formentera, is on the rise".

The study reveals that cyclists' preferred paths are Camí de sa Guia and Camí des Brolls. Two-hundred sixty-four cyclists were logged over the course of three morning and three afternoon tallies on Camí de sa Guia in August 2017. Counts performed over the same period last month registered 725 cyclists, an uptick of 175%. On Camí des Brolls, the count of 85 cyclists in 2017 has become 310 cyclists five years on, for an increase of 265%.

Councillor González lauded the commitment that many rental companies have demonstrated by increasing their fleets of conventional and electric bicycles. Mornings from 20 to 22 September, passersby in Sant Francesc's Plaça de la Constitució will be able to test out display bikes and learn about assistance that the Consell is offering to aspiring bike owners. At the same time, at Formentera's two bicycle workshops, residents can receive tune-ups free of charge. González called the actions "a sign of our commitment to promote sustainable mobility locally".

19 September 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

During 8 days in August Formentera hits vehicle threshold and traffic falls 8.5% from all-time high in 2017

foto 2022ix final for ecoThe Formentera Office of Mobility reports that yesterday marked the final day of formentera.eco enforcement in 2022. From 15 June to 15 September, motor vehicles driven on the island must have a corresponding authorisation.

According to Rafael González, councillor of mobility, in the programme's fourth year, the limit on vehicle permits was reached during eight days in August (6-8/10-14 August) and an average of 955 requests were turned down per day. In 2020 the island reached its vehicle carrying capacity for four days, and in 2021, five days.

Lighter traffic
Based on roadside tallies performed when the number of incoming vehicles crested between 5 and 14 August, traffic dropped 8.5% compared to 2017, when Formentera logged its historic high. Similar counts were also performed in 2019 and 2021. Comparatively, traffic in 2022 is down 2.5%.

Case study: the stretch of greatest saturation between Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran
For ten peak days in August, 2017, the average number of vehicles on the road was 21,328; in 2019 the average was 20,436; in 2021, 20,372 and in 2022, 19,617. Traffic dropped 4% from 2019/2021 to 2022 and 8% from 2017 to 2022.

While more exhaustive analysis remains pending, Rafael González stated that "this year's results demonstrate the effectiveness of regulation, and why it is so important". "Formentera.eco is crucial because it kept new businesses from opening, prevented six rental firms from expanding their fleets and, for ten days in August, kept an average of 955 vehicles off local roads. The considerable drop in traffic is a testament to its effectiveness". The councillor added that, in fact, "reports indicate that this year traffic appears more fluid and our roads appear less saturated. This, along with promotion of more sustainable modes of transport, is one of formentera.eco's main objectives".

Next year the ceiling on incoming vehicles will be lowered by an additional 4%, bringing the four-year cumulative decrease to 16%. In 2020 the Council of Entities (Consell d'Entitats, CdE) voted to set this 16% decrease as a legislative target. At the end of the season, the CdE will reconvene to analyse all the data in detail and prepare the 2023 regulation.

16 September 2022
Communications Office
Council of Formentera

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