The city of Barcelona removes some of its bus lines from Google Maps

The city of Barcelona removes some of its bus lines from Google Maps

While more and more cities around the world are taking measures to combat overtourism and its harassment, the municipality of Barcelona has decided to delete some Google bus routes to return them to the residents.

An article he wrote

France Info – Henry de Lagerie

Radio France


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In Barcelona, ​​bus number 116 disappeared from Google Maps to prevent it from being overrun by tourists.  April 2024 (Henri de Laguerre / Radio France)

Facing an invasion of tourists, the Barcelona municipality has removed the bus routes most used by holidaymakers from Google Maps. The goal: to ensure residents have access to public transportation and allow them to reclaim their neighborhood bus.

For example, the minibus from line 116 climbs through the steep streets on a hill in Barcelona, ​​towards Park Guell, this famous park designed by Antoni Gaudí. Inside, there are not many people, except for a few elderly people. Since the line disappeared from Google Maps, so have the tourists, Anita rejoices. She lives in the neighborhood and takes this bus every day.

“There are much fewer people. The elderly can sit, it is comfortable. In short, it is much better. It is a great idea.” Before that it was impossible to take the bus. “It was untenable.”

Anita, Barcelona

In France Info

Tourists now ignore the existence of this minibus and take the metro. They then walk for about ten minutes to reach the park entrance. This procedure, although as original as it is effective, was well understood by Stephane, who is originally from Montreal. “We're part of the problem. If there's a way the locals can get away without us bothering them too much, that's a good idea.”he thinks.

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So Parc Guëll's neighbors get their neighborhood bus back, but this procedure has some drawbacks. It is now impossible to know when the bus will pass, laments Rosa: “I can no longer access the timetable on my phone. I am in front of the station and I don't know how long I have to wait before the bus arrives.”

Park Guell in Barcelona is a tourist destination.  April 2024 (Henri de Laguerre / Radio France)

Beach bus routes were also targeted

But in general, few residents complain. After finding their buses, they now want to restore the peace of their street. Objective: Prevent taxis from circling the park. “Now they have to withdraw the taxi stand because it is always crowded and poses a danger to the children who live here. Anita pleads. “They spend all their time honking their car horns, and they don't let people pass. It's noisy.” It is possible that the taxi rank will be transferred soon. This summer, other saturated bus routes, those to the beach, may also disappear from Google Maps and navigation apps.

Barcelona fights overtourism thanks to Google Maps: report by Henri de Lagerie

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