The Barcelona Metro is a mostly underground metropolitan railway network that serves the different districts of Barcelona and the adjacent municipalities of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Esplugues de Llobregat, Cornellà de Llobregat, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Badalona, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Montcada i Reixac and El Prat de Llobregat, in an area that includes beyond the Llobregat and Besòs.
The network currently has 12 lines managed by two different operators (TMB and FGC), with fares integrated into the six-zone fare system created by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM Area of Barcelona) which also includes urban and intercity buses, tram and commuter trains within the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona and neighboring counties or municipalities. All metro lines are located in zone 1 of the integrated area. The current network has 166 kilometers and 189 stations (TMB + FGC + Montjuïc funicular), as of February 1, 2020.
In 2019, more than 455 million trips were made (411 TMB + 44 FGC urban services), the highest figure in history. This represents an increase in users of 1% over the previous year, which meant a collection of 280 million euros.
From 1 January 2020, the price of one metro ticket is 2.40 euros. The T-Casual card, which allows 10 trips by metro and other modes of transport in the metropolitan area, costs € 11.35, while the T-Usual card with unlimited travel for 30 days costs € 40 (2020).
In 1920, Banco de Vizcaya decided to implement the project due to the gradual increase in traffic on the tram network, the opening of the Madrid Metro and the interest generated by the construction of the Transversal Metro. By royal decree of February 12, 1921, this bank was given a 99-year underground electric road concession. To coordinate the management of the line and expand funding, Banco de Vizcaya partnered with other public transport companies in Barcelona and founded a company called Gran Metropolità de Barcelona S.A. (GMB).
In 1920 Ferrocarril Metropolità de Barcelona S.A. was formed. FMB and GMB projects were approved by the Public Works Council in 1922. Considering the need for large investments, it was decided to increase the authorized capital by issuing 19,600 shares, some of which were acquired by the Barcelona City Council, since due to the city’s characteristics the railway could play an important role in the development of the city.
The network’s growth was progressive with an increase in the number of lines from 2 to 11 and their extension. In the period from 1935 to 1950, the construction of the metro was paralyzed due to the Civil War and the post-war period. In the middle of the last decade, projects were delayed and scrapped due to the 2005 Carmel collapse.
The Carmel collapse was the result of a landslide resulting from an accident during the construction of a tunnel in the Carmel area of Barcelona on January 27, 2005. The construction of the tunnel was carried out as part of the extension of line 5 of the Barcelona metro. This led to a social and political crisis, the so-called Carmel crisis.
Some of the most important improvements in recent years have been the improved accessibility of the suburbs through the adoption of laws and codes approved by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the automation of some lines.
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