The Minister of Territory and Sustainability Damià Calvet, has assured that the Commuter Rail network “needs a techno-ecological revolution” to face the challenges of the coming years; that is why he said that “we must immediately promote Rodalies 3.0”, so “it is urgent to complete and expand” the transfer agreed with the State, “both in terms of infrastructure and services”. This transformation will make it possible to overcome “Rodalies 1.0, before the transfer, and 2.0, resulting from a half-failed transfer”, the Minister argued.
The Commuter Rail System "is essential for the proper functioning of the country, but especially for Barcelona Metropolitan Area and Barcelona", Calvet said, and he emphasized that public transport is essential in any “social, economic, technological and environmental policy”. Damià Calvet made these reflections during the event "Building bridges with infrastructure", organized by Foment del Treball, attended by the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos, representatives of other administrations and social and economic agents.
"In Catalonia, there has been a lack of investment for too long now, and the cause is the fiscal deficit, that is, the imbalance between budget and liquidity by the State or the non-fulfilment of the Third Additional Disposition". Now, with COVID-19 crisis, "we have another chance and again it comes from Europe; Member States aspire now to the European reactivation fund". He added that "with the scenario of the European funds in sight, there is no longer any excuse for the projects to be executed in Catalonia" to become a reality, "and the mechanisms need to be clear and efficient". In this sense, the Minister added that the Catalan Government "wants to participate in the decisions being made".
“The Government of Catalonia wants to have a voice and requests these funds knowingly; it has been doing its homework for months”, he said. In addition to the management during the pandemic, the Minister of Territory and Sustainability has set as an example the plan of reactivation and social protection of the Government to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, in which the Department has put “the Green Agenda at the heart of the economic recovery ”.
Minister Calvet warned that “we are facing a key decade; it can be prodigious if we face it with a transformative spirit; we let go of brakes and corsets, we move forward and try not to prolong the past”. Thus, he pointed out that "we must lead a set of revolutions that must be intertwined": energy, industry, digitalisation, ecology, climate and urbanism. With regards to urbanism, he claimed that together with the Urban Agenda there needs to be a transition “towards friendlier cities with a more versatile public space and more responsible and solidary mobility”.
New framework for public-private collaboration
In his speech, Minister Calvet also highlighted the need, in this context, to establish a new framework for public-private collaboration and outlined three initiatives that the Government wants to develop: “define a guide to good practices together with economic and social agents both in terms of management and execution of actions, form a working group on flexible working hours to make mobility more sustainable, and initiate a process of dialogue with the public road transport for its transformation ”, with aspects such as concession models, transport on demand or vehicles 0.