Sunday, May 30, 2010

Barcelona transit

Barcelona's transit system is really user friendly. You buy ride cards from kiosks at each subway and can select a single trip for 1.3 Euros, or ten trips for 7.80 Euros. Imagine getting a volume discount ... TTC take note! The ride cards are totally shareable also. Since the card contains a set number of rides (as opposed to a metropass which is unlimited rides for a fixed duration of time), it is perfectly acceptable to use it at the subway turnstile, then pass it back for your companion's use. Rich and I shared a 10 pass card in this manner. The same pass is good on the bus where there are machines to read and debit the card.

The subway platforms indicate the arrival of the next train and counts down to the second. On the trains, the route maps are electronic, and each stop that has passed is lit up so it is very easy to see what stop is coming up next. There are also electronic screens that flash the name of the next stop as well as a recorded voice that announces it upon arrival.

Even the bus stops indicate to the minute the approximate time for the next bus to arrive. Wouldn't that be excellent to have in Toronto? On the buses, again there are electronic screens that indicate the route and the upcoming stop. All this, and a quick and cheap way to get downtown from the airport (via the Aerobus for 5 Euros)! I definitely have transit envy. It seems every big city we go to has a better transit system than we do.

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