Madrid Local News Highlights Of The Week
Selena Patel takes a look at the standout local Madrid news this week.
“Pasea Madrid” registration opened – Monday, February 27, saw the registration for this year’s “Pasea Madrid” opened up. For those who do not know, the Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the City Council launches a program every spring that provides guided tours through different parts of Madrid.
The first season of this year will start Monday, March 6 and will go until April 30. They will be hosting 17 different tours at various times throughout March and April. The tours will have an English version available. A new initiative this year will reserve five tours for those over the age of 65-years old. Each tour will host a maximum of 25 people.
Registration opened this past Monday at 10:00 a.m. for those over the age of 65 and at noon for everyone else. The same program is also available at two other seasons, the second being from May to July and the third being from September to November.
The Prado Museum will have free evening entry the first Saturday of every month – Starting this Saturday, March 4 the Prado Museum will be allowing free admission from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. every first Saturday of the month. The new project is by Samsung: “El Prado de noche”. The program will host unique exhibitions to spread more awareness of the different parts of the museum.
The opening night will be centered around the Central Gallery where many famous European works from Goya, Rubens, Titian and Velázquez are exhibited. Radio 3 will broadcast a special program dedicated to the Prado museum to help market the project to local Madridians.
Samsung and the Prado have collaborated for over 10 years, this is just the newest in their many joint projects. The extended hours will continue until August making a total of 6 events this year.
The electric bike service,BiciMAD, will be free until July 31 – Starting Tuesday, March 7, the electric bike service, BiciMAD, will be available for free access. The municipality-sponsored service was created to promote their new bike service by allowing a free period of use. The only limitation is that each ride must be under 30 minutes but each user can do as many rides per day as they would like. This was implemented to ensure accessibility to as many people as possible at any time of the day.
Their goal is to increase bike use as an environmentally friendly mode of transportation throughout the city. The government is also pushing to reduce vehicular traffic throughout Madrid by putting in place no-drive zones. This is the latest initiative to help Madridians become more environmentally conscious by giving citizens the opportunity to explore navigating the city via biking.
When the implementation of the project is concluded there will be 7,500 electric bikes and 611 charging stations throughout the 21 districts in Madrid. Their main focus is to make the bikes accessible to as many people as possible, also ensuring each bike is built ergonomically to withstand all weather conditions.
More than 6.000 taxis will be protesting again in response to new regulations being introduced – The Professional Taxi Federation of Madrid (FPTM) organized another protest on Thursday, March 2 to prevent Madrid’s government, run by President Isabel Díaz Ayuso, from new taxi regulations being put in place. Some of the new regulations are calling for the deregulation of taxis in Madrid to provide “more freedom, more security and more prosperity to all professionals.”
Many people a part of the FPTM are upset about the new act to deregulate taxis because it will make a series of changes. For one, hours will be deregulated allowing taxi drivers to have more free hours and work every day and the hours they want. This will allow them to enter up to 60% more per month per license and create about 3.000 new jobs.
It will also allow for more flexibility with hiring drivers also increasing the amount of VTC firms such as Cabify, Bolt and Uber.
Additionally, Madrid wants to bring back ride sharing, specifically allowing passengers to just reserve one seat, reducing the price for travel expenses and making an incentive to use taxis more.
The protest will begin at Plaza de Castilla at noon and will end in front of the Ministry of Transport on Calle de Maudes at 2 p.m.
More than 6.000 taxis are expected to arrive at this protest. Many are upset because this also gives room for prices to be less stable for taxi drivers and companies that run those services.
According to new data, 9 out of every 10 Madrileñans live within 15 minutes of all essential needs The delegate of the Urban Development Area, Mariano Fuentes recently revealed that “the vast majority of residents of the city of Madrid have everything they need within 15 minutes or less on foot from their homes, with the exception of their workplace.”
This statistics corresponds to the first phase of an in-depth study, prepared by the General Directorate of Strategic Planning of the City Council over 18 months. They found so far that 92.17% of Madrileñans live within a 15-minute walk from all essential needs including grocery stores, pharmacies, and residential green areas.
Madrid has been pushing to make the city more accessible to all inhabitants.
There have been a series of projects done to make sure that even in the more remote areas of the city there is access to all basic necessities giving it the title of being a “15-minute” city.