Barcelona Tram Service, Barcelona, Spain


While the public transport system within the city of Barcelona was extensively developed, there were some areas in the outskirts of the city and surrounding cities in the metropolitan area that were poorly connected to Barcelona city centre.

The aim of the Barcelona Tramway was to improve connection between the city centre and suburbs of the city through an environmentally friendly mode of transport.


Barcelona City Council used a PPP framework in which the private consortium designed, financed, built, and operates two tram networks that connect the city centre with the Southwestern and Northeastern outskirts of the city. The infrastructure has 41 trams, 29.1 kilometers of track, 56 stations and close to 27 million users per year.

SDG Impact:

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy as the Barcelona tramway network uses a source of energy that does not generate greenhouse emissions.

SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure as the city increases its public infrastructure stock. The Barcelona Tramway widens the public transport options for residents increasing job and education opportunities. Moreover, there exist wide academic evidence about the positive effects on productivity of infrastructure construction.

SDG 11:   Sustainable cities and communities as the infrastructure tries to promote public transport reducing private vehicle use and the use of fuel propelled transport modes as bus.

SDG 13:   Climate action resulting from the use of non-greenhouse emission system of transport.

SDG 17:   Partnerships for the goals. The private sector designs, build, finances, and operates the public transport system. That allow the public sector to benefit from private sector know-how and international experience while transferring some risk.

Compliance with UNECE People-first PPP criteria:

With the new tramway system, the city increases the capacity and capillarity of public transport lines using a comfortable and environmentally friendly transport mode.

The project:

  • Increased access to public transport to residents
  • Improved the sustainability of the public transport system by using non-greenhouse emissions mode
  • Increased job and educational opportunities
  • Transferred risk from the public sector to private sector
  • Increased equality as some of the tramway lines reached less favoured areas.


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This case study aspires to be People-first Public-Private Partnerships project and is published as received from the proponents.