Creating six high capacity underground interchanges between bus, coach and Metro, this addressed the growing need for transfer between these services and increasing highway congestion.
The interchange facilities support between 60k-240k passenger movements daily in high quality, air-conditioned environments.
Plaza Eliptica is one example of Madrid's interchange facilities. Located south of the city centre, this three-level subterranean bus/Metro interchange facility connects with the A-42 highway, with vehicles entering around 300m from the interchange facility.
Buses leave the highway avoiding road congestion and improving air quality - minimising delays and improving service reliability. A subterranean interchange can experience issues relating to CO2 generation and energy use though the mechanical extraction of vehicle fumes from the interchange facility.
Design objectives were for a high quality, spacious passenger environment. Natural light permeates all levels of the interchange through a light shaft above the entrance acting as a wayfinding beacon and, combined with a visible staff presence and clear lines of sight, provides a sense of security for passengers.
Products, materials, information and signing are consistently implemented across all the interchange facilities. Spatial management is excellent, with passenger facilities arranged around the perimeter of a central movement space. Buses drop off and pick up in separate locations minimising passenger movement conflicts and tactile paths provide wayfinding support for visually impaired passengers.
Automated doors help to maintain air quality within the facility and manage access to bus boarding areas. Escalators and lifts provide direct access to the Metro station located within the same interchange facility.
Revitalised pedestrian facilities and landscaping to regenerate the surrounding green space formed a central part of the project.