Free public transport for essential journeys

02/04/2020 - 11:29

Covid-19. The city police and the Catalan police will be stepping up checks on the metro and on buses to ensure only people who are authorised are travelling.

The Guàrdia Urbana [city police] of Barcelona and the Mossos d’Esquadra [Catalan regional police], in coordination with the TMB security staff, will step up monitoring to make sure that the only people moving about are those who are allowed to under the Royal Decree declaring the State of Alarm. The trips that can be made on public transport are those related to employment (only for those people who work in essential services), accessing healthcare centres, and caring for dependent individuals.   

The Covid-19 health emergency means that, as of 2 April, no charges apply for journeys made on public transport in the Barcelona area for essential activities and services.

The measure, agreed on Tuesday by the administration board session of the Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM), will be in place until 9 April. At this exceptional time, the goal is to facilitate journeys by people providing essential services, who are authorised to travel to and from work, as well as journeys by people going to medical centres or to provide care for dependent people.

The measure includes the means of collective transport operated by Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), TRAM, Rodalies, bus services run by the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB), the DGTM and the municipalities belonging to the AMTU. Each of these operators offers a different format for free services.

  • Metro services, FGC trains, TMB and AMB buses will be operating a system whereby users should validate any ticket (current, used or expired) to gain access to stations and buses. No journeys will be deducted from the ticket, which will only reflect the use of transport made.
  • The Rodalies local train service will be using a system whereby access turnstiles use proximity sensors. Users do not need to validate tickets and turnstile gates will open automatically.
  • Buses operated by the Direcció General de Transports i Mobilitat (DGTM) and the municipalities belonging to the AMTU will issue single tickets at no cost to users, simply to control vehicle occupancy.

Despite transport being free, these systems are being applied to control occupancy levels on public transport, as vehicles cannot carry more than one third of their maximum capacity. If the measure leads to an increase in non-essential mobility, it will be reversed immediately.

Police checks

To ensure compliance with the measure, the city police and the Catalan police are running a joint operation to make sure journeys are only made by those authorised to do so, in accordance with the current regulations. The checks may be carried out in different spheres of public transport, including interchanges and entrances.