Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s fast urban bus system, dubbed the MetroGuagua, should make travel across the city much faster once it is running in 2021.
The idea is for fast, regular buses in their own lanes running the length of the city from La Isleta in the north to La Laja beach in the south.
Initial work is underway across the city to prepare the bus lanes and a lot of people, especially those facing disruption during the work, are fairly sceptical about the whole idea.
Is the MetroGuagua a good idea for Las Palmas city?
Having travelled on similar BRT systems in South American cities like Bogota, I’m confident that it will work.
Now that the north-south bypass is in place, a lot of the car traffic in Las Palmas consists of people driving around the city (and around again looking for parking).
With a fast transit system running the length of the busiest part of the city, I’d expect a lot of residents to leave their cars behind and use the buses to move around Las Palmas.
How will the MetroGuagua affect Las Palmas’ property prices?
Well, it depends on where you live in the city.
There is so much demand for property in the Puerto District and close to the beach that I don’t expect faster buses to make much difference. Prices in these areas are underpinned by so many other factors: Local and foreign buyer demand for property close to Las Canteras, holiday rental investments, a general lack of property for sale in the area, etc.
However, a fast transport option will make other areas along the bus route more attractive to buyers. I expect areas such as Arenales, Triana and the Cono Sur (the large area of Las Palmas south of Vegueta) to benefit.
Mesa y Lopez benefits from the MetroGuagua because the entire east end of the street between the Plaza de España roundabout and the Military Base will be pedestrian. This will make Mesa y Lopez apartments much quieter and reduces air pollution. The whole street goes from a busy thoroughfare to a tree-lined avenue.
Mesa y Lopez is already a desirable area of Las Palmas due to its central location and large flats and it should see a significant spike in interest once the cars disappear.
La Isleta, which has a lack of parking and congested access at peak times, will also become more attractive (especially for foreign buyers who don’t plan to run a car in Las Palmas).
Overall, property close to the bus stops should see an upsurge in demand and modest price rises. This is especially true of flats that don’t have their own parking space.
Areas in the higher part of the city, such as Escaleritas, won’t see any benefit from the MetroGuagua until branch lines are put in. As yet, there are no concrete plans for this.