A Plan for Vertical Transport in San Sebastián has been developed by the Municipality. The size of the target population and its demographic features constitute a first starting point in determining the importance of a vertical transport installation.
The existing patterns of travelling to and from the district concerned helped to evaluate the usefulness of a vertical transport system in order to reduce the number of trips by car and to increase walking, cycling and PT trips. Topographic characteristics and connectivity to public transport lines also have to be considered. Whether to choose lifts, escalators or other systems depends on height difference and slope values, needed transport capacity and available funding.
The investment costs are split in two: construction works and the vehicle transport system. The mechanical part has a fixed cost while civil engineering costs are extremely variable. When analysing the viability of those systems it is also essential to bear in mind their operation and maintenance costs since there are significant differences between one system and another.
Partners involved and relevant stakeholders are associations of neighbours, elderly and physically handicapped people.
Five lifts and two escalators have already been installed, three are already in the construction phase and two more are about to start. Some of them improve the accesibility of public urban equipments such as the Cristina Enea Park or the Aquarium, while the rest connect the higher parts of the city to the pedestrian area and public transport network.
Some of the projects of future lifts or escalators are linked to urbanistic developments that may be delayed due to the current economic situation.
Justifying the installation of a lift or other vertical transport system economically, environmentally and socially has to do with the use made of it by the population as well a with the system's capability to divert trips by car to other means of urban transport. If the equipment fails to contribute to changing the mobility behaviour, its contribution to sustainability will also be questionable.