Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The angry metro, by Bernat Gasulla

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Is it possible to make a user social map of the Barcelona metro lines? Can the user on Line 1 be distinguished from the user on Line 4? Does the profile change depending on the section or schedule? This is an approximation to a brown sociology of lines 1 and 5 of the Barcelona metro. Next Sunday, 2 and 4.

L-1, the red belt

Line 1 of the Barcelona metro was not the first. As we have learned in this pandemic, which has taught us that the first phase is 0 and the second is 1, the first line of the Catalan capital’s suburban line was 3. Now, almost 100 years later, L-1 was has become a kind of Metropolitan red belt that connects the southern end of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat with Barcelona and Santa Coloma de Gramenet.

But the L-1 did not always have that metropolitan spirit. In its first decades it was very, very Barcelona. From the heart of the Eixample. It was already entered 80s when it was opened to different neighborhoods, including the center, of L’Hospitalet (Barcelonès sur). At the same time, it grew at the other end until it reached the Fondo de Santa Coloma neighborhood (Barcelonès norte). Those extremes (from Bellvitge to Sants and from Glòries to Fondo) have ended up shaping the personality of the L-1: metropolitan, hard-working, early riser and mixed race. Like the red belt.

L-5, moodiness and Barça

Let’s continue with the metropolitan thing and with the dance of numbers. The current L-5 began as II (well, in Roman numerals), but it was short-lived. The blue line is almost a soulmate of L-1. Since the 1980s, it has linked four municipalities in the metropolitan area: Cornellà, L’Hospitalet, Esplugues and Barcelona. It was for many years the only metro service available to many residents of L’Hospitalet, thanks to the Can Boixeres station.

During the weeksour gesture workers They fill their platforms and wagons from early in the morning, with the exception of the most genuinely Barcelona and tourist section, personified in the Hospital Clínic and Sagrada Família stations.

It was also the line in whose works was untied the disaster of the Carmel (2005), the sinkhole that opened a huge social and political crack. It was in the plenary session of the Parliament on the accident when Pasqual Maragall aired 3% of Convergència Demogràtica de Catalunya (CDC) in parliamentary headquarters. The metro of the healthy town was the one that ended up turning the political status quo of Catalonia.

Yes, bad mood from Monday to Friday … and the Barça metro on match days. Although lately the humor of the thousands of Catalans fans who have used the subway to go to the Camp Nou is also not for many lanterns.

The Badal station has become, when Barça plays, the most recommendable experience for those who like crowds and the risk of falling onto the platforms in full tumult. Effectively, the joy of soccer is short-lived in the poor man’s house.

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