13 sept. 2018

Being Streetsmart in Madrid

In the past we’ve written posts about the metro, buses and train systems here, but after living in Madrid for almost a year you start to catch on to a couple of things here. (yeah, I know it took me a year, I’m a slow learner) Here’s just a couple of things to keep in mind when riding Madrid’s public transit system.

As you are waiting on the platform, the metro trains come from your right to your left, not the other way around as on most other cities’s metros I’ve been on. I learned this one night by accidentally going up and around to the other side of the platform because I thought the train was coming from the wrong direction, it ended up costing me and extra 15 mins to wait for the next train. (they run less frequently after 11pm) There are a few exceptions, though, at the Charmatin stop which is connected with the Renfe depending on how you exit the train station you could end up in the middle platform on the metro and thus it could come on your right.

There’s also a couple of lessons I learned on the bus. One is you enter through the front door, and always exit the back door, even if no one is getting on. (this is strictly enforced and mentioned on their website) A friend of ours also mentioned that if you carry a stroller on, you must be in the cut out section to the side, or also reserved for wheelchairs. She didn’t know and sat in a seat with the stroller in the aisle, and ended up holding the bus up until she was able to move back to the appropriate section. Also, make sure you hit the stop button for your stop or promixa parada, immediately after they make the preceding stop. Otherwise, they will blow right by your stop, my husband has had to learn this a couple of times. As the bus arrives, especially at the smaller stops, you have to flag the driver down, just as if you are trying to hail a cab.



Also when walking to all the stops be mindful that drivers here turn (whether legal or not) right on red, so even if you have the walk sign there may be a car that crosses in front of you. Jaywalking is tolerated here, but I wouldn’t recommend it when you are crossing at a large roundabout, I’ve seen two many people cross early and get caught in the middle of the street without a median.X

Good luck and safe travels whether by on foot, bus, or metro.

Madrid’s Metro Website http://www.metromadrid.es/es/index.html

Madrid’s Bus website (new and improved) http://www.emtmadrid.es/?lang=es-ES

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