This year’s European Light Rail Congress is being held in the beautiful city of Seville in Spain. Capital and the largest city of the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia, it is known for being the warmest city in Continental Europe with temperatures regularly exceeding 35 degrees in July and August. Since 2009, it has also been the home of the Global Light Rail Award winning Metro de Sevilla and their 18.1km of light rail. 
To explore why we will be visiting thid fine city and to give you an idea of the who, what and why of Metro de Sevilla, we have prepared this special series of blogs. 
In this part, we explore the history of the Metro itself as well as its plans for the future... 
Working in tandem with Globalvia and the Regional Government of Andalusia, Metro de Sevilla first entered operation in 2009 with their 18.1km Line 1. This line connects the main points of the city centre as well as offering connections to the rapidly growing Metropolitan areas of Seville. The systems’ intermodal nature combining Metrocentro (another LRT system), bus services and interurban rail has continued to prove popular with the city’s almost 2 million population. In fact, by December 2023, this public transport system had accumulated more than 213 million passengers. 
With transport being the most energy intensive transport mode within Spain – almost 40% of the total -there is a need to encourage people to choose more sustainable forms of transport – such as public transport. Amongst all of these modes, the railway is perhaps the most energy efficient, cleanest in terms of C02 emissions, speed of service and the high capacity of passengers that it can carry. 
To help lower its own impact upon the environment, Metro de Sevilla and its parent company, Globalvia, have been champions of sustainability. Since the system’s opening, they have saved 40% on their energy consumption, only use renewable energy sources to fuel the network and, since 2020, have been carbon neutral. 
Metro de Sevilla employs a fully electrified system with catenary lines overhead which means that the vehicles it uses are lighter as they do not need to store batteries. They have also installed solar electric panels and most recently, have employed a specially designed photovoltaic plant which supplies sustainable and renewable energy to its stations and trains. You can learn more about this project in our special blog here. 
Of course, passenger experience is of the utmost importance to Metro de Sevilla, and as such the operator has been committed to providing new innovations and greater efficiency to its passengers as well as reducing its impact on the environment. 
Some of these innovations have included the provision of full mobile coverage within its stations and tunnels, the inclusion of mobile charging points within its vehicles, a contactless ticketing system, and most recently, the development of a smart post-payment system allowing passengers to navigate all public transport options with ease. Other innovations include the provision of micro-mobility parking areas where bikes and scooters can be left (and recharged) in safety as well as most of the Metro stations linking directly to bike lanes. In this way, Metro de Sevilla aims to promote a modal shift towards urban mobility and connectivity within the city as well as being committed to modernising and continuously improving upon the passenger experience within Seville. 
With such a proven track record for sustainability and innovation, we could not be more pleased that Seville have agreed to not only host the European Congress but will also share their experience, insight and innovations with our delegates. With so much experience in the fields of optimising passenger experience, sustainability and promotion of the use of public transport, this is an operator with key lessons to share with any professional involved within LRT and light rail. 
Metro de Sevilla's use of sustainable energy sources such as this photovoltaic plant provides the energy for their fleet and won them a Global Light Rail Award in 2023. 
To learn more about the 2024 European Light Rail Congress and how you can get involved as a delegate, supporter or exhibitor, please click here… 
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