The Barcelona Metro is an important part of the city's mobility rhythm, Source: Unsplash

Without public transport, Barcelona would need 51 Camp Nous to fit extra cars

Without public transport, Barcelona would need 51 Camp Nous to fit extra cars

TMB, as the local transit operator is known, also saves nearly 300 thousand tons of carbon emissions from the city’s air

Have you ever thought of the beneficial impact that a public transit network provides to a city’s environment? Whatever the answer, you might be curious to find out as an example how Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has reduced CO2 presence in the air of the Catalan capital and what would life look like there if the company didn’t exist.

Apparently, based on the passenger numbers of a pre-pandemic year (2019), if all the people who used the metro or the buses operated by TMB had chosen to travel by private vehicle, they would have released additional 295,009 tons of CO2 in the atmosphere.

That number was arrived at by taking the validated trips in the transit system for that year – some 627 million of them and multiplying them by the emissions released by an average diesel car as a reference.  This, of course, is the worst-case scenario, assuming that every passenger would have travelled by car instead of walking or cycling.

Public transit decarbonises

Things get even more visually striking when we consider another data bit. In addition to contributing to reducing the carbon footprint, public transport plays an active role in decongesting the city. Without metro and bus journeys, an extra surface of 300 hectares of lanes would be needed to accommodate rush hour traffic.

Making a comparison, the lanes equivalent to 51 stadiums the size of the iconic Camp Nou would be needed. That would make it impossible to fit so many vehicles on the roads and would make this hypothetical city without public transport not viable.

TMB also continues to work to make the improvement of its own service compatible with the reduction of emissions, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030. The main environmental measures are included in the company's 2025 Strategic Plan. 

In there, the effort to decarbonise the city’s bus fleet stands out, with the aim to further minimize the impact of surface transport on the environment.

In total, by 2024 the fleet will have incorporated 210 new natural gas hybrid vehicles - 154 electric and 46 hydrogen-powered. 



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU