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How Barcelona metro’s new payment system works

The Local Spain
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How Barcelona metro’s new payment system works
How Barcelona's new metro payment system works. Photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP

The Barcelona transport network has launched a new payment system in order to purchase tickets for the metro system.


From September, travelling on Barcelona metro will become a lot easier as users will be able to buy their tickets directly at the gate by tapping their bank card, rather than queuing for paper tickets from the machines.

This will revolutionise the way people use the city's metro system.

It means people will be able to save time when travelling and can still get through the gates, even if they've forgotten their physical tickets. 

This change represents a significant transition towards digitisation for the city's transportation system and means that a paper ticket will no longer be required. 

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Paying for a journey with your bank card directly is already available on Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona's (TMB) bus network.

When will it come into force?

Authorities hope to roll out the new scheme across the whole of the metro system, but for now, it is only available at certain stations. Testing is currently being carried out on metro line 4. 

How does it work? 

Metro riders can use a bank card validation system to make payments for single tickets. 

To use it, all you have to do is tap your bank card, mobile phone banking app or smart watch on the panel at the gate. This will validate your payment through a contactless system.


What happens if I have to show proof of my ticket?

If you're travelling on the Barcelona metro system, you will periodically have to show your ticket to the authorities to prove you have one. Under the new system, you will not have to have a paper ticket, so you will be required to give the last four digits of your bank card instead.

This will enable TMB workers to make sure you have still bought a ticket. 


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