Getting Around

How to use the T-Casual travel ticket in Barcelona

1st January 2020
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IMPORTANT: As of January 1, 2020 the T-10 travel ticket was replaced with the T-Casual ticket.

Although a few terms and conditions of use have changed, the basics of purchasing and using a T-Casual ticket are unchanged.

New Price, Terms & Conditions

The T-Casual costs 11,35€.

The T-Casual is unipersonal — and can only be used by one person

The T-Casual is good for 10 rides using a combination of up to 3 modes of transport.

The T-Familiar

The T-Familiar, costs 10€, is multi-personal and valid for 8 rides within a 30 day period.

So, for couples, families and small groups of friends, the T-Familiar is probably the way to go.

One of the many wonderful aspects of life in Barcelona is the public transport network.

If visiting from the United States or the UK you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how clean, comfortable, convenient and reliable the local transport network is.

The quantity and quality of passenger information, in Spanish, Catalan and English (and some French) is very good.

The best way to get around the city is to use public transport.

One of the first things to do after arriving in the city is to buy a T-Casual integrated transport ticket — it will save you a ton of money and a lot of hassle.

IMPORTANT: You will need to buy a T-Casual for every member of your group — you cannot share a T-Casual.

I use a T-Casual at least twice, sometimes five or six times every day during the working week. It really is quite simple, however, I can understand how visitors from an area without an integrated transport system could feel a little daunted by the process.
So, here's your guide to buying and using the T-Casual.

TMB T-casual ticket purchase machine process series 4

How to use the T-Casual on the Metro (subway), local trains (RENFE Rodalies/Cercanias and FGC) and Funiculars:

First, buy your ticket.

There are not many staffed ticket offices where you can buy a ticket, and if you haven't already purchased your T-Casual at a tobacconists, newsagent or street news kiosk (some bakeries and other shops also sell T-Casuals) you will have to use a machine in a Metro station or at a Tram stop these machines will be marked with the TMB logo (as in the photos below).

You can also buy a T-Casual at ticket machines at RENFE (Spanish national rail service) rail stations (these machines are coloured grey) and at FGC (Catalan national rail service) rail stations these machines are coloured orange.

You can also buy your T-Casual ticket online. To do so you'll first have to register with JoTMBé, a loyalty scheme which offers points and prizes for purchasing tickets online and via the TMB app. If interested you can read more detail HERE and HERE.

There are also a few ticket machines near bus stops on Avinguda Diagonal, however, these machines only accept credit/debit cards, and are so few and far between, and so often out of service, that they are not worth your time looking for.

How to use a ticket machine

  • Search the touchscreen for the T-Casual ticket icon.
  • In the bottom right corner of the screen you’ll see four flag icons indicating which languages are available: Catalan, Spanish, English and French. Tap the union flag for English.
  • Tap the T-Casual ticket icon.
  • The screen will change and show you the current price (11,35€) and give you the option of buying multiple tickets by tapping the + symbol on the left of the screen.
  • You are also able to change the Zone by using the + and  symbols on the right of the screen.
  • Make sure you have the correct quantity and Zone and tap Confirm in the bottom left of the screen, (or Cancel in the bottom right of the screen if you have made a mistake).
  • The screen will change and show you the total cost of the the ticket(s) and how much you have to pay in red.

These three images illustrate the above:

TMB T-Casual ticket purchase
TMB t-casual ticket machine 2
TMB T-casual ticket purchase process series

Apologies for the quality of the images — will try and replace them at some point in the near future.

BUY WITH CASH

Insert coins in the vertical slot above the screen, or insert a note (bill) up to the value of 20€ in the horizontal slot to the right of the screen, or if buying more than two T-Casual tickets, multiple notes/bills. (Please note: As at writing many machines do not accept 50€ notes/bills).

The most frequent cause of first-time users' frustration is incorrectly inserting notes/bills.

When inserting notes/bills be careful to place the note the correct way up as shown in the graphic above the slot. PLEASE NOTE: The 50€ note shown above and below is NOT crossed through with a red X — so it will accept 50€ bills.

The machine will issue change and deposit your ticket in the tray below the screen. You’re good to go.

BUY WITH CREDIT/DEBIT CARD

  • Find the T-Casual icon on the touchscreen.
  • Tap the T-Casual icon.
  • Select how many tickets you require and which Zone you require using the + symbol.
  • Place your card in the horizontal slot to the right of the touchscreen.
  • The machine will read your card and accept or deny it.
  • Then, on the card reader screen you will see the instruction to enter your PIN number using the keypad and the OK button, marked with a green tag in the bottom right of the keypad.
  • Then, all being well, you will see a message on the card reader screen, Mastercard (or whatever your card name is) XXXX with the amount that has been paid.
  • Then, you will see the instruction 'Extregui' telling you to extract your card. Remove your card.
  • The machine will deposit your ticket in the tray below the touchscreen.

IMPORTANT: Remember to remove your card. The machine does not emit any audible warning, as do ATMs, if you leave the card in the slot. If you do inadvertently leave your card in the machine then after 30 seconds or so the machine will swallow your card. If this happens the only way to retrieve your card is to go to the TMB customer services office in Diagonal metro station the following day. Station staff do not have any way of opening the machines  they can only be opened by cash collection staff.

Ok, so you've got your ticket — now, how to use it.

There are 3 types of ticket barriers:

  • Turnstiles: These are the most common.
  • Plexiglass doors: These are usually found in recently built or refurbished stations.
  • Extra-wide plexiglass access points: For people in wheelchairs or electric buggies and people with child buggies or bicycles, electric scooters and/or lots of luggage.

Turnstiles

  • Place your T-Casual the correct way up (i.e. printed with T-Casual and green icons) with the white arrow in the bottom left corner pointing toward the slot.
  • Retrieve your T-Casual from the slot at the back of the machine.
  • Pass through the turnstile to your RIGHT as indicated by the black arrow in the photo below.

Plexiglass doors

  • Place yourT-Casual ticket face up (i.e. printed withT-Casual and green icons) and with the white arrow in the bottom left corner pointing toward the yellow plastic horizontal slot.
  • Retrieve your T-Casual from the pop-up slot.
  • Pass through the plexiglass doors to your LEFT as indicated by the two illuminated green arrows in the photo below.

You’re on your way — now go find your platform/track.

How to use the T-Casual on the bus network:

  • Buy yourT-Casual as above. Bus drivers cannot sell you a T-Casual,  they can only sell a senzill (single/one-way) ticket (2,40€).
  • Get on the bus at the front of the bus, NOT the middle nor the back .
  • Say ‘Hola’ to the driver and give a smile.
  • As you file along the gangway you’ll immediately see two ticket machines  one on your left and one on your right.
  • Insert your T-Casual with the white arrow pointing downwards into the red slot at the top of the machine.
  • The machine will make a sound and tell you how many rides you have left and your ticket will pop up.
  • Remove your ticket, put it somewhere safe and find a seat, or shuffle along the bus.
  • IF your ticket is used-up or defective the machine will make a loud intermittent beep. This is when you panic, frisk yourself for another T-Casual, realise you don’t have one, and before you can decide to backtrack and get off the bus the doors are already closed and the bus is on its way to the next stop. Oh no!
  • IF this is the case choose an appropriate moment, dip into your pocket and find 2,40€ in change and pay the driver for a senzill/single/one-way ticket.
  • Say thank you/gracias to the driver and take deep breath of relief — you have just avoided a potential fine of 100€.

[Remember the T-Casual is a unipersonal ticket. So, if you have no rides left on your T-Casual you will NOT be able to borrow a ride from someone else's ticket — (as you could with the T-10 ticket ) — you will be obliged to buy a single/senzill/one-way ticket for 2,40€.

Here’s a photo of a ticket machine on a bus:

How to use the T-Casual on a tram:

  • Buy your T-Casual from a machine, tobacconist or news kiosk as described above, or from a machine at the stop.
  • Board the tram.
  • You will find a ticket validation machine (very similar to the machines on a bus) attached to poles near every door.
  • Insert your ticket in the slot with the white arrow pointing downwards.
  • The machine will make a sound (described as a ‘bip’ in the helpful information).
  • That’s it — you’re on your way.

Transfers and duration of travel:

You can use your T-Casual to switch between three modes of transport on your route for up to 1 hour and 15 minutes in Zone 1 and it counts as a single journey/ride.

For example, you could take a barrio bus (local public mini-bus) to connect with a regular bus to connect with the metro, or take a tram which connects with a local train which connects with a funicular. If you do all that in one hour and fifteen minutes from the start of your journey it only debits your ticket by one journey. However, note that once you leave the metro system you will have to use another ride when re-entering the metro.

IMPORTANT: Keep your ticket flat. If the ticket gets bent or torn then it will likely not work. You can take your damaged ticket to a TMB Customer Services office (in Diagonal, La Sagrera and Universitat metro stations) and they will issue you with another ticket. You could also ask at an office in a metro station  if you’re patient and polite the staff can, although they are not obliged to, issue you with a new ticket credited with the correct number of journeys.

LINKS

Enjoy getting around Barcelona with your T-Casual.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Bartek 21st January 2020 at 11:46 am

    Hello Bill,

    thank you very much for detailed information about T-Casual ticket. Is there any official confirmation of temporal (until the end of February) change of rules regarding use of this ticket?

  • Reply Bartek 21st January 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Great, thank you very much 🙂

  • Reply Sian dixon 26th January 2020 at 11:32 pm

    Gosh, this post is ansolutely brilliant , thankyou so so much , its sooo much simpler now!!! Can this ticket be used on the funnuclar which stops at the base of monjuic cable car??

    • Reply Bill Sinclair 27th January 2020 at 12:58 am

      Hi Sian, yes the T series of integrated tickets (incl. T-casual, T-familiar etc) CAN be used on the Montjuïc funicular. It can also be used on the Valvidrera funicular. You CANNOT use your T-casual/familiar ticket for the cable-car to the top of Montjuïc. HOWEVER, be aware that the Paral·lel — Montjuïc funicular AND the cable-car (to the top of Montjuïc) are both CLOSED for maintenance until February 17th.
      Have a great visit. All the best

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