“Thank you for these 15 years traveling together.” The voice of the tram, Alicia Rodríguez, warns with those words that Thursday, June 2, is a special day because the Tenerife light rail turns five decades (2007-2022). The celebration is discreet because there is no better way to commemorate the anniversary than to carry out the service like any other Thursday morning. The exception is the exhibition that at the entrance to the Interchange shows the past, present and future of this already consolidated means of transport.
The tram socializes. It is an axiom that is fulfilled at eight in the morning. The mothers who are going to drop off their children at school, the young students, many workers who start the day, a lady with the shopping bag, the lawyer with the toga in the bag or the man with a hat who looks like a businessman because of how he speaks to via mobile phone. 99% of users spend their trip entertained by what the small screen of their personal and non-transferable device throws up. The racial mix of travelers stands out. Their features denote different origins. Logical in a diverse society.
In addition to the nerve centers of the two hospitals, La Candelaria and the HUC, Cruz del Señor, Weyler and Guimerá are the stops where the most people get off. In the first two they also go up but from the third the tram is half empty.
The President of the Council, Peter Martinsums up his opinion about the tram in two words: “Public and useful”. Value; “We believe in the tram and in the Titsa buses, as shown by the fact that each year we contribute between 30 and 50 million euros to compensate for the deficit of both public companies.”
Regular or sporadic users agree on two positive aspects of the service; punctuality and comfort. Pedro resides in La Palma and when he comes to Tenerife he uses it. He values ”the coolness of the interior on the trip” and “punctuality”. Naomi is a student. She uses it sporadically to go up to La Laguna. She does not believe that the tram is as slow as it is believed and highlights the passing frequencies, ideal to be able to organize.
Adriana is a young mom. With her four-month-old baby, Zelda, in the little car she waits for the tram. She explains that “with the girl, she uses it a lot more.” The balance of it: «Speed and comfort». Very close, Rubén students, is pragmatic: «he takes me from one place to another, especially between Weyler and La Laguna; mobility is what I value most about the tram». Joel is also a student and commutes “every day” on the light rail. He from Guimerá to the Interchange where he takes the bus to study in La Orotava. He is critical: “That it costs the same to go from the Interchange to Guimerá as to La Laguna does not make sense.” Another note: «Weekends and holidays a lot of strange people upload».
Yesterday and today
The exhibition Yesterday and today, 15 years connecting can be seen in the hall of the Santa Cruz Interchange until the end of this month. Enrique Arriaga, island councilor for Mobility and president of Metrotenerife, explains that “through 12 panels -in four blocks of three-, this photographic and informative exhibition reflects the aesthetic transformation of Santa Cruz and La Laguna with the tram”. He emphasizes that “the implantation was accompanied by an intense and complex urban renovation, both on the surface and underground, such as had never occurred up to that time.” He underlines: «In parallel to the tramway, a more avant-garde and modern Metropolitan Area was built». Enrique Arriaga concludes that the exhibition also offers a look at the growth that the company has experienced in these years
The island’s director of Mobility, José Alberto León, points out: “The exhibition will reach the more than 10,000 people who pass through this space every day.” Some of it will be placed at various stops.”