Description and operation of the IFS
Transport Act 9/2003 of 13 June authorises 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 Girona Area 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 and inter-urban services, administered by the DGPT.
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 passengers to take more than one bus or train during the same journey at no additional charge.
- 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 new integrated fare system
The Girona Area ATM is launching the integrated fare system in order to allow passengers to use the different transport systems (urban buses, inter-urban coaches and commuter trains) with a single card
- 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 and a photograph of the user on the back.
Anonymous cards, which do not show any user information.
You can get a personalised card directly, by visiting the Customer Service Centre (CSC) of the ATM, by post through local county councils or by sending the request form you will find on the ATM website to the CSC. In the latter cases, you will need to send a photocopy of your ID and an ID-sized photo. The blank card, ready to be charged, will be sent to your house within a few days. There is an issue fee of €3,50.
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 in the Girona area. There is an issue fee of €2,50.
It’s very easy. When you enter the urban or interurban bus, or when you are going to catch the train, approach your card to the reader or to the machines of the train station. The technology used for the ATM card does not require that you touch the card to the reader; by holding it up to the reader the system automatically subtracts the fare for your journey. Every time you transfer from one bus or coach to another, the card must be validated again. T-10, T-10/30 and T-50/30 cards allow you to make a maximum of three transfers using different modes of transport in a single journey at no additional charge.
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 El Gironès, the area of La Selva and the area of El Pla de l’Estany.
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 option to another, you have to wait until the card has a zero balance.
Your ATM card will make it easy to get around comfortably while saving you money. Depending on the type of journey you plan to take and the fare option you have chosen, you will save between €0.50 and €3.42 per trip.
A user who takes a journey that crosses two zones with any of the different fare options can make transfers free of charge within the established time period without having to buy a new ticket every time he or she changes busses.