Barcelona launches first water bus on July 1

by Lorraine Williamson

The port has approved the concession to be awarded to the Alsa Group, which will operate two zero-emission boats between Drassanes and Nova Bocana.

Barcelona will launch its first water bus on July 1, which will connect the Rambla with the Nova Bocana. There will be two emission-free boats, which could reduce the traffic pressure somewhat. A single ticket costs less than €2.

The water bus is a kind of sea taxi or shuttle, which crosses the entire Port Vell through the centre and thus avoids a long detour around Barceloneta to reach the other side. This direct connection will help alleviate the summer traffic congestion caused by the large number of tourists in the area. The new service will be operated by the Alsa Group, with two zero-emission boats.

According to newspaper EL PERIÓDICO, there will be a pick-up point at the Moll de Llevant -behind the Vela hotel. The other terminal will be located at the Drassanes quay.

Water bus runs for at least 12 hours a day

The water bus will operate for a minimum of 12 hours a day, with a capacity of 70 passengers per boat. The boats will be equipped with an automatic docking and boarding system. They are powered by solar panels or hydrogen and will be connected to the electricity grid. “The maximum fare is set at €1.90 per trip, with passes for 10 trips, 2 days and 30 days and discounts for children, young people and the elderly,” the Barcelona Port Authority said in a statement.

Investment in water bus

The Port of Barcelona’s Board of Directors approved the 15-year contract on Wednesday. Formally, this remains in the name of the joint venture formed by Nex Continental Holdings, S.L.U. and Bahia Zero, S.L.

The company to which the contract has been awarded will make an initial investment of €1.87 million in the two vessels and in the refurbishment of the maritime station and the Portal de la Paz stop.

There will also be a restoration at the stop in Llevant. In addition, “once the service starts, the winning bidder will be able to propose other stalls,” the statement said. The public tender to provide this service generated considerable interest, with ten companies submitting bids.

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