Description and operation of the IFS

Description and operation of the IFS


Transport Act 9/2003 of 13th June authorises the Territorial Transport Authorities (ATM -Autoridades Territoriales de la Movilidad) to develop the fare policies for their respective public transport services.

Therefore, one of the activities of the Camp de Tarragona Public Transport Consortium consists of developing a new fare system made up of the different public transport networks: urban services, administered by the different city and town councils; inter-urban services, administered by the DGPT; and train services, administered by Renfe.

The primary goal of the new integrated fare system is to work towards positioning collective transport as a single, comprehensive system that is competitive with private vehicle use, and to make the system more attractive to current and potential users.

A fare system that is easy to understand and based on principles which are accepted by local citizens will help to bolster the image of public transport in that it will help the various bus and train services to be perceived as a unified and integrated network.

Some of the primary aspects of the fare system are that it:

  • Allows travel using different transport operators with the same fare option and without additional cost within the specified valid geographic area.
  • Makes transfers easier and cheaper through validation systems that allow for free transfers.
  • Creates a fare schedule that favours the frequent traveller (client loyalty).
  • Facilitates the purchase of transport cards and fare options through a network of sales and recharging points.
  • Standardises the information about available services.

The integrated fare system

The Camp de Tarragona Territorial Transit Authority (ATM) manage from October 2008 the integrated fare of Camp de tarragona system in order to allow passengers to use the different transport systems (urban buses, inter-urban coaches and trains) with a single card.

This is a very simple system that makes it easier to get around Camp de Tarragona and which has considerable financial advantages. With this system passengers can go from their point of origin to their destination, transferring to other modes of transport when needed, without additional cost within a specified time period.

The specified time limits are:

  • For one zone: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • For two zones: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • For three zones: 1 hour and 45 minutes.

A contactless smart card is the platform on which the integrated fares are based. There are two types of card:

Personalised cards which show the name, surname(s), ID number of national identity card, residency card or passport and a photograph of the user on the back.

Anonymous cards that do not show any user information.

Personalised cards:

You can get a personalised card at the Customer Service Centre (CSC) of the ATM or by sending the request form you will find on the ATM website to the CSC. In the latter case, you will need to send a photocopy of your national identity card, residency card or passport and an ID-sized photo. In order to pick up your card and load a fare option onto it, go to the CSC a few days later and pay for the card and the cost of the fare option you would like to load. You can view prices following this link.

Anonymous cards:

You can get an anonymous card at the Customer Service Centre (CSC) of the ATM or at any of the points belonging to the ATM sales network (kiosks, tobacconists, and other locations), which you can find in the different towns and cities of Camp de Tarragona. You can check the price following this link.

The integrated fare system allows you, with a single card, travel freely on urban and interurban buses Camp de Tarragona, in commuter and regional rail journeys within the area of commuter rail of Camp de Tarragona.

You must hold your card every time you start a journey on the the card readers on board buses or in the platforms of railway stations. You also need to validate it to make a transfer (except in the train station).

You must make sure that you are using a valid title for the journey you want to make. The fact that the equipment validation and acceptance validates a title does not necessarily mean that this is valid for the journey you want to make.

All integrated fare options allow a maximum of three transfers to different modes of transport in a single movement without additional charge except T-MES that allows unlimited transfers.

You can recharge your card at the Customer Service Centre (CSC) of the ATM or at any of the points belonging to the ATM sales network distributed throughout the different cities and towns of Camp de Tarragona.

You can recharge a smart card any time before you have used the entire balance of the card or before it expires. However, if you want to change from one type of fare card for another, you have to wait until the card has a zero balance or expires.