I ran into some of my classmates from the TtMadrid TEFL course this past weekend and as a Madrid veteran, was asked a lot about how to get an abono monthly pass, so I’ll break it down for anyone else having trouble:
Note: For any other zone than A, you can purchase the orange card in any Estanco (tobacco shop). Most are cash only. You can buy the actual monthly pass (abono mensual) there, or from any ticket machine in the metro. You can NOT buy abonos on the bus! Only single tickets. The passes for B1, B2, B3, C1 and C2 are valid for the entire month.
Also, if you are under 23 years old, you can request a youth (joven) card that is considerably cheaper. However, you will have to provide proof of age. You can obtain it up until June 30th of the year that you turn 23.
Now, onto Zone A normal, Zone A youth and Zone B youth. You can either fill out an online form (using the link below), including uploading a passport-sized picture and paying the 4 Euros online. However, it will take 5-7 days to receive it by mail. The other option is to make an appointment.
To make an appointment, you can call 915 809 244 or make one yourself online: TRANSPORTE PÚBLICO
You will need to select which type of card (Zone A youth, Zone A normal or Zone B youth). Next, fill in your ID number (passport number is fine if you haven’t received your NIE yet). You’ll need to select your country if you choose the passport option.
You’ll then need to decide if you want to Incinar solicitud on-line (do everything online) or Pedir cita previa (request an appointment. If you do everything online, you’ll need to have your address, bank account number and a passport photo that you can upload. (If you haven’t paid online with your Spanish bank account yet, you might want to check if you need to request a code or permission. For example, I had to set up my online account in order to pay online or do a bank transfer. Each time I get sent a text message with a code to enter on the website.)
For either option, you’ll want to select Primera solicitud nueva Tarjeta (new card application — you haven’t lost your card!)
To request an appointment online, select which days and locations you’d like to have your appointment at. Remember, around the first of the month are the busiest times, so don’t hesitate on selecting a time! For your appointment you need to bring 4 Euros and your passport or NIE (whichever number you registered with at the beginning). An electronic picture of you will be taken there. You can also choose to pay for the 30 days (month-ish) at that time.
Note: The Zone A abono is different than the other zones in that it is an electronic card. So, once you pay and activate the card (from the first time you use it), it is good for 30 days. Also, if it is lost or stolen you can report it so that it will be deactivated. You can pay 4 Euros for a new card and receive the remaining time on your card. Once you pay for the 30 days, you have to activate it (use it) within 14 days or it will deactivate. For example, if you activate your card on November 1st, it will be good for all 30 days of November. However, in December, if you activate on the 1st, it will only be good through the end of the day on the 30th. Make sense?
For any other questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them!