Passengers using suburban rail services in Spain’s 12 largest metropolitan areas will soon be able to use their physical or digital contactless bank card to pay for their fares on EMV readers installed in station turnstiles.
The turnstiles will also incorporate a QR code reader that enables passengers connecting with a long-distance service to use the barcode on their ticket to travel for free on the relevant suburban network before and after their journey.
Spain’s national rail operator Renfe introduced the Cronos contactless payment system on the Malaga service in July and is now rolling it out across all of its suburban Cercanías networks.
“The traveller is obliged to validate the bank card at the beginning of the trip and at the end of it, passing through the corresponding turnstile, to determine the route taken and therefore the amount to be paid,” Renfe says.
“If the card is not validated at the beginning or at the end of the journey, the system will charge the amount corresponding to twice a single ticket for the maximum number of zones in each suburban nucleus.”
The system can only be used to buy single tickets, but does enable passengers to purchase multiple group tickets, provided the same payment card is presented at the beginning and end of the journey.
Renfe operates Cercanías networks in Asturias, Bilbao, Cádiz, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia/Alicante, Catalonia, Santander, San Sebastián, Seville, Valѐncia and Zaragoza.