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I am going to Universidad Carlos III de Madrid next semester for an exchange term from Canada. I will be studying at the Leganes campus for 4 months, and I am trying to determine whether I should find an apartment in Leganes so that I am within walking distance to campus, or get an apartment closer to the city center and just commute. I only have to be on campus 3 days a week, so I think I would prefer to be in the city center for most of my time as I would then be closer to the main train station and the airport, as well as more lively things like shops, bars, and restaurants.

But, I am having trouble understanding the commuting options from the Madrid city center to Leganes. I know Leganes station is in zone B1, and there is a 30-day youth public transit pass that allows unlimited interzonal travel for people under 26 (which applies to me) for a total of 20 euros per month. This option would be great for me, as it is within my budget and would allow me to get around to many different places in the city.

So my question is: what type of transit does this pass allow you to take? i.e. is it for the metro/subway, above-ground train, bus, or a combination? Additionally, how long would it take to get from somewhere in the city center to Leganes using this pass? And what would be the route? How often does this train/bus run? I cannot seem to find this information anywhere online, as the Spanish websites are a little bit confusing and I don't understand the different types of public transport or what is included with which passes.

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

  • You didn’t find this: crtm.es/billetes-y-tarifas/billetes-y-abonos/… Appears the public transport is fully integrated, as is actually the norm in Europe. Passes for a zone are valud across all modes. – Krist van Besien Dec 5 '19 at 20:02
  • That doesn't answer any of my questions... what are the "modes"? what would be the route and what kind of transport would it entail? How long would it take? – elben Dec 6 '19 at 17:20
  • The page I pointed you at answers all your questions. Under ‘validity’ you can see what modes of transport the pass is valid for. Under ‘move around Madrid’ you will get a link to a trip planner. – Krist van Besien Dec 7 '19 at 15:52
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Leganes Central station (near the University) is on Cercanías Line C5 and Madrid Metro Line 12. In this case, Cercanías Line C5 runs every 10 minutes and journey time to Atocha station (no transfers) in downtown(ish) Madrid is about 20 minutes according to Google Maps. Since public transportation is integrated, the pass should cover this.

The metro line forces a connection to Line 10 at Puerta del Sur so it will likely be less convenient unless you plan to live along Line 10 or Line 12.

With regards to modes, Cercanías is a Regional Rail system with relatively frequent service all day. Line C5 is special with respect to this system since it has its own tracks and runs like a metro line. Since you're from the Toronto Area according to your SE profile, you can think of C5 as the Kitchener Line but with 6-10x as much service per day.

There are general schedules/frequencies for C5 here: https://www.redtransporte.com/madrid/cercanias-renfe/linea-c-5.html

For the metro, refer to https://www.metromadrid.es/en and note that the lines most relevant to Leganes are Lines 3, 10, and 12.

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