How to travel by metro
If you would like to travel by metro you will recognise the entrance to the stations with the help of different elements of signage. The signpost displaying the symbol of the TMB metro will help you to find the entrance.
At the entrance itself you will find information boards that will tell you:
- The name of the station.
- The line or lines that stop at that particular station.
- A map of the transport network.
- The station opening hours and the start and end of the metro service.
- Local area maps showing other entrances to the station.
Buggies must be folded if they are to be taken on the escalators.
Unless you are travelling with small children, stand on the right hand side of the escalator. This will allow passengers who are in a hurry to pass on the left.
Running is not allowed in metro stations to avoid the risk of injury this poses to yourself and other users.
The metro is gradually being adapted to make it easier to use by people with disabilities. Measures such as the installation of lifts, escalators, raised marking strips for the visually impaired and public address systems are some examples. These elements are already in place in new stations and are being installed in existing stations. Plans of the whole network indicate those stations that are adapted for use by passengers with reduced mobility.
Once in the station entrance lobby you will find useful information for your journey and explaining the type of ticket you need.
If you do not have a ticket, you should buy one at the vending machines. A ticket is required to cross into the metro boarding area and you should validate your ticket by inserting it into the machines placed there for this purpose.
There are validating machines with the turnstile to the right (tickets are validated on the left and the passenger goes through the turnstile on the right) and others with doors to the left (tickets are validated on the right and the door opens on the left). In both cases there are arrows showing which turnstile or door should be used.
Barcelona metro ticket vending machines enable you to select the language in which the messages appear. Languages available are: Catalan, Spanish, English and French. The default language used is Catalan.
Next, choose the type of travel card you want to buy. The first screen shows the most common types; of you want a different type of card, click on "Other".
Once you have selected your travel card, indicate how many (with the plus and minus symbols on the left-hand side of the screen) and, if necessary, the number of zones (with the plus and minus symbols on the right-hand side of the screen).
The machine will tell you the amount and the value of the bank notes accepted for that particular transaction. Payment systems are also activated (coins, notes or card).
Cash payments shall be made in euros. If you want to pay by card and it is for a currency other than euros, you can select to pay in euros or in the currency on the card. The machine will issue a receipt.
For other transactions, with payment in euros, click on "Receipt" if you want a receipt.
Once you have passed through the barriers, remember that the maximum permitted journey time is 180 minutes. Throughout every metro station you will find signs, diagrams showing the line, maps of the network and the area, screens with information on waiting times or other information of interest, and announcements over the public address system. Before going onto the platform, check the direction of travel by looking at the diagrams of the metro lines.
TMB staff can help you and provide information on your journey.
Try to wait on the least busy part of the platform. If the waiting passengers are distributed along the length of the platform, entering and leaving the train will be easier for everyone. If you are a wheelchair user, it is best to get on and off the train via the second door in the first carriage, as this offers the best visibility.
Wait behind the safety line until the train has come to a complete standstill.
Let passengers wishing to leave the train out before trying to enter the train. Boarding and leaving the metro in as smooth and organised a manner as possible helps reduce stoppage times and increases the regularity of the network and the frequency of trains.
Mind the gap between the train and the platform edge, particularly in stations with curved platforms.
Move away from the doors of the train to allow other passengers to board or leave the train, as the signs in the carriages indicate.
Remember that it is not permitted to enter or leave the train after the whistle has sounded.
Each metro carriage has seats reserved for the elderly, pregnant women and passengers with reduced mobility. These groups should always be given priority access to seating.
In addition to the information provided on diagrams of the lines and the plans of the network, the public address system also announces each station and lists the connections with other lines.
The button should be pressed or the small lever pulled to open the door, depending on the type of train.
Again, pay attention to the whistle indicating that the doors are closing and mind the gap between the train and the platform edge, particularly in stations with curved platforms.
Every platform displays information on the direction passengers should go in, which will be helpful when you reach your destination station. The different exits are marked and a map is given of the area showing points of urban and cultural interest and the nearest bus stops for you to continue your journey. This information is also available in the station lobby.
Should an incident occur, the most important thing is to get assistance as quickly as possible; therefore, the Metro Control Centre must be notified.
You can get in touch with them using the SOS intercom on the platforms and in the station lobbies or by contacting train and station staff.
Find out more in the article in the Hora Punta online magazine, How we... assist indisposed passengers