Rickshaw taxis banned in Sagrada Familia, Eixample, Paral·lel, Park Güell and Camp Nou for half a year

City Council aims to improve coexistence in public spaces but asks Generalitat for harsher restrictions

Mar Bermúdez i Jiménez
2 min
A tourist couple using a bicycle cab in Ciutat Vella this summer.

BarcelonaBarcelona City Council has passed a decree to prohibit the circulation of rickshaw taxis in the areas of Sagrada Familia, the area around Passeig de Gràcia, Paral·lel Avenue, Park Güell and Camp Nou during the busiest tourist months. It should be remembered that there is already a restriction in force for these vehicles and the use of personal mobility vehicles –especially electric scooters – for commercial use in the districts of Ciutat Vella and Sant Martí during the summer. The aim is to prevent them from taking up public space and hindering residents' day-to-day life. The decree will come into force once it is definitively approved.

If it materialises, it will mean that for six months these kinds of vehicle will not be able to circulate freely in the city. According to the Mobility councillor Laia Bonet, "rickshaw taxis do not respond to the mobility model or the tourist model we want for the city: they generate traffic nuisance and safety problems, and they are unfair competition for cabs". The City Council claims the impact in the growth of economic activity and tourism is affecting more and more areas of the city. This translates into more rickshaws in more districts and emblematic areas.

The City Council has decided to promote these restrictions precisely to ensure safety and coexistence and ensure a good distribution of public space between pedestrians, bicycles, scooters and rickshaws. However, the final responsibility for passenger transport lies with the Generalitat and, for this reason, for months the Barcelona City Council has been asking the Catalan Government to implement measures in this regard. "From the Barcelona City Council we are using all the instruments at our disposal to ensure safety in public spaces, but we insist that the Generalitat must do its job and prohibit this activity," said Bonet. Talks are currently underway for the Government to regulate this kind of economic activity.

There is no clear data on the number of rickshaw taxis circulating in the city, since there is only a municipal ordinance that allows these vehicles to be registered. That is, it only helps identify them, but registration is not mandatory.