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Madrid public transportation is clean, fast, safe, extensive and efficient. It includes 13 metro lines, more than 170 bus lines (EMT) and 10 lines of Cercanias (local trains that link the city centre with the suburbs). In addition, it is very cheap: a single ticket costs only 1.50 €, and if you buy a 10 trips ticket (valid both for buses and the metro, and can be shared by several people) it's €12,-; unfortunately there are no passes for unlimited usage during 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days. You can buy single tickets on buses (cash) or at the slot machines in metro stations(cash or c/c). The same 10 trips ticket (available at metro stations) is for use on the metro system and the busses. Within the metro system you may change freely between the various lines using the same ticket. Changing from one bus to another though means that you have to pay each time you change. Beware, the driver will wait until he would hear the sound when you punch your ticket!!! A few words concerning the ticket machine in the metro stations: it is rather easy to use ,choose your language and the touch screen will explain the rest. The machines work with cash, Maestro and Visa Cards, you will be asked to type in your code - also with the VISA Card - so have it ready.
METRO. With 213 stations (and growing), the Metro is very easy to use. Each metro line has a color and a number, and the commuting doesn't take so long. It runs from 6:00 am to 1:30 am. The frequency varies according to the line, the time of the day and the day of the week, but it can vary between 2 or 3 minutes at rush hours to 5 minutes during the rest of the day. At night, they run every 10-15 minutes. It is not recommended to travel during rush hours (7:30 am to 9:00 am) because trains are very congested.
The metro is normally very safe, at any time of day or night. However, some pickpockets operate in touristic stations (especially Sol), like in many big cities. Guards and lots of security cameras in the stations and inside many trains guaranty the safety of the traveler. The oldest trains are no more than 10 years old, almost all of them are air-conditioned and some have even flat screens. Stations usually have TV, where you can watch the news or know the weather for the next days.
BUSES. EMT buses connect downtown with the neighborhoods. The buses are blue, with the exception of those that run on diesel(less then10%) that are red. The new ones use hydrogen. One important feature, specially in Summer: they are all air conditioned. They run every day from 6:00 am to 0:00 am, every 5 to 15 minutes. The frequency may vary according to the time and the bus line. The new blue busses also provide a child seat with appropriate seat belts.
Being a nocturnal city, a system of night buses known as the "buhos" run after 11:45 pm untill 6:00 am, with a frequency of 15-30 minutes. Many of them depart from Cibeles Square (metro station: Banco de España) and others do approximately the same journey of the subway lines.
There are also 3 lines of double-decker touristic buses (more expensive than the rest - €21 per day) that cross some of the most beautiful avenues and monuments.
COMMUTER TRAINS. The Cercanias railway is connected to the subway at Atocha, Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios, Príncipe Pío, Delicias, Pirámides or Méndez Alvaro stations. Another station in downtown (not connected) is Recoletos. Cercanías trains take you to popular Paseo de la Castellana and Nuevos Ministerios. It runs from 6.00 am to 11:00 pm, every 3 to 5 minutes, and trains are extremely punctual and efficient.
|Airport Express buses|
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|Transport Information System|