To provide visitors with a shuttle service to visit remarkable sites to contribute to the preservation of these natural areas while making them accessible.
Massive use of private and rental cars to access natural areas and some beaches of Mallorca Island can cause serious environmental problems of various kinds.
Consequently, actions were proposed to promote the use of public transport to reach beaches in areas with high natural value, within the framework of regional policies for the seasonal adjustment of tourism. In 2017 started the implementation of regular shuttle bus services to provide public transport access to virgin beaches (Es Trenc beach and Cala S’Almunia).
Then in 2018 started a 3rd shuttle service, providing transport to Cap de Formentor lighthouse (magnificent cape located in natural areas of special interest, that was suffering massive access congestion problems in previous years) with a frequency of 30 min in both directions.
This action was accompanied by traffic restriction on Formentor road, banning the use of private car along the 11 km that goes from the parking area at Formentor beach to the lighthouse. In addition to the expeditions, there was an additional one between Port de Pollença town and Formentor lighthouse.
This action was accompanied by:
- Creation of bus stops along the road in 3 touristic sites.
- Creation of car parks outside of protected areas.
- Installation of panels displaying dynamic information on access restrictions to natural areas and availability in deterrent parking.
- Information campaigns to publicize alternatives to private car through sustainable mobility solutions.
The investment consisted of public funds which covered costs for setting-up these measures and include buses, construction of 3 parking areas, a communication campaign and staff efforts
Evidence of success
Data collected on users show the success of the measure. Between 15/06/2019 and 15/09/2019, the shuttle bus service to these three touristic sites registered 160,086 users; that is, 69.3% more than 2018. Among them, 136,341 users corresponded to the Cape Formentor line.
In 2019 restrictions lasted for one more month than in 2018 which took place from July 1 to August 31.
This current year 2020, due to the pandemic situation and the collapse of tourism, these shuttle buses have been cancelled.
Problems arose in the first year of implementation due to the lack of frequencies and congestion in the parking area. A well connected and high capacity starting hub and provide accurate information on services and access restrictions is important to avoid moving the problem to the starting point.
Potential for learning or transfer
The number of tourists looking for a sustainable holiday destination is growing. Therefore, there is no sustainable destination without sustainable mobility. These options add value to the local tourist product by enhancing the holiday experience and of course, lead to a better service level also for locals.
Solutions like shuttle buses service to natural areas aim to promote the conservation of natural spaces and make attractive tourist sites accessible to locals and tourists.
On the one hand, it helps to solve inherent problems to the massive use of the car, such as congestion on access roads or illegal parking in the natural spaces themselves as well as enables to decrease low carbon emissions.
On the other hand, it allows decreasing human pressure on natural sites, which benefit their conservation in the medium and long term.