I possess a Tarjeta transporte público from Consorcio Transportes Madrid.

Can someone explain, as to an idiot please, exactly how I go about recharging it? (Where are the machines, exactly what to do, cash/card, and anything useful to know.)


1 Answer 1


The search term you want, in Spanish is recarga (which means 'recharge' or 'reload').

The official Consorcio Transportes Madrid webpage has a page titled "¿Cómo Se Utiliza?" ("How Do You Use It?") which says the following:

Dónde se carga

Actualmente, la red de carga se compone de:

  • Máquinas automáticas instaladas en las Estaciones de Metro de Madrid y ML1: billetes de la red de metro (sencillos y 10 viajes) y Abonos Transporte
  • Máquinas automáticas instaladas en las Estaciones de Metro Ligero (ML2 y ML3): billetes sencillos y 10 viajes válidos en el servicio y Abonos Transporte
  • Máquinas automáticas instaladas en las Estaciones de Cercanías: Abonos Transporte
  • Puntos de información de los Intercambiadores de Transporte: Bonobuses de servicios urbanos e interurbanos y Abonos Transporte
  • Cajeros automáticos de Bankia: Abonos Transporte y billetes de 10 viajes (Metrobús y bonobús interurbanos)
  • Estancos y otros puntos de venta autorizados: Abonos Transporte y billetes de 10 viajes (Metrobús y bonobús interurbanos)

Los Abonos Transporte de todas las zonas y perfiles se pueden cargar en los puntos arriba indicados.

El Abono Anual requiere la emisión de una nueva Tarjeta Transporte Público Personal para su primera carga. Para sus sucesivas recargas se informa al usuario en el periodo y por los canales oportunos de cómo proceder.

I have provided a translation below. The "Abonos Transporte" (literally 'transit subscription') include rechargeable media such as the TTP.

Where to charge

The network of charge locations currently includes:

  • Machines located in Madrid Metro station and ML1: Metro tickets (single and 10-ride) and Subscriptions ("Abonos Transporte")
  • Machines located in Madrid light rail stations (ML2 & ML3): light rail tickets (single and 10 ride) and Subscriptions
  • Machines located in local rail stations (Cercanías): Subscriptions
  • Information points at transport interchanges: multi-trip urban bus tickets, intercity bus tickets, and Subscriptions
  • Bankia ATMs: Subscriptions and 10-ride tickets (local and regional buses)
  • Tobacconists and other authorized retailers: Subscriptions and 10-ride tickets (local and regional buses)

Transit Subscriptions for all zones and fare levels can be charged at all of the indicated locations.

The Annual Subscription ("Abono Anual") requires that a new transit card (Tarjeta Transporte Público Personal) be issued for the first charge. The recipient will be informed of the proper procedures for subsequent recharges.

So pretty much, your options are:

  • Machines in the Madrid Metro and light rail stations
  • Machines at Cercanías (local rail) stations
  • Info points at the major bus interchanges (these will be human tellers)
  • Bankia ATMs
  • Tobacconists and other 'authorized retailers'.

Bankia confirms -- via YouTube (Spanish) and via their official site (English) -- that you can use their ATMs to top up your card.

I did find a large amount of griping from locals that the transit services were cutting back the number of non-automated service points, so the option of interacting with a human teller at one of the bus interchanges is probably the most risky of these given the cut-backs.

You can use the official Consocio Transportes Madrid webpage to confirm all of this. Navigate to "Billetes y Tarifas" (Tickets and Fares) then to "Tarjeta Transporte Público Personal". Note that if you're located outside of Spain, you may need to use a Spanish web proxy to access the CTM site since they use a geographical block on foreign traffic; I am unsure if EU traffic is blocked but the site is inaccessible from the US.

  • Gracias, @Roddy. Can you just confirm to this idiot that this means that one can only buy Metro jouneys at a Metro machine, and that bus and metro journeys are not interchangeable? Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 7:49
  • Single tickets, yes. But if you have a tourist card (Abono Turístico de Transporte, eg. this) you should be able to use it on metro, city buses, light rail (M2), and zone 0/A Cercanías trains (for Zone A tourist card, Zone T is much more extensive.) Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 17:49
  • @erstwhileeditor Note that Metrobús tickets can be used on either metro or bus routes (generally just A zone), but not on commuter rail (Cercanías). Any unlimited pass (tourist or monthly) will also let you on Cercanías for the zone it was purchased. Also, I've not had any problems accessing CTM from the US. Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 1:24
  • Yes, the CTM page is no longer geo-blocked. Apparently it was a temporary(?) configuration. Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 6:08
  • @guifa I wonder if you'd like to expand into an answer? There is such a wealth of choices on the website I don't know which of the tickets you are referring to. (In fact I bought a 10 metro trip ticket for my card, but I don't think it is valid on buses). Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 6:44

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