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Don't miss the bus. Or the metro. As of this Tuesday, November 28th, there's an important change in Barcelona's public transport passes as the new cardboard T-Mobilitat pass begins to be sold. What's new? The new card is rechargable, and it's contactless, and over the next weeks it will replace the T-Usual and the T-Casual, the two most common passes used on Barcelona's Metro, FGC and bus networks, as well as most other types of pass. Faced with a change of these characteristics it's normal that users have questions. Here are some of ours (and the answers):

Oh no! Is my cardboard T-Casual no longer useful?

Don't panic! The 10-trip T-Casual and the month-long unlimited-trips T-Usual are still valid for a few weeks. You can keep using them until they run out, or until the final expiry date set for January 15th, 2024. Also, the switchover of the vending machines is just beginning, so some will still be selling the old passes until about mid-December. But remember that early in the New Year, any cards you have will no longer have any value. 

Is the T-Mobilitat that plastic card that I see people using already? 

Yes, the T-Mobilitat as a rechargable plastic transport card has existed for some time in Barcelona, but now to make it universal the transport authority is also introducing a cardboard version of the T-Mobilitat - also rechargable - so that it can be sold in ordinary vending machines. The recommendation of the transport authority is to get the T-Mobilitat plastic card, but the fastest and cheapest alternative is the cardboard T-Mobilitat. When the changeover period is complete, all users of the T-Casual and T-Usual, and most other passes, will have to use a T-Mobilitat.

Let's cut to the chase: how much does it cost?

For the actual physical card, the cardboard T-Mobility has a one-off price of 50 cents the first time you buy it - but that's just once since you then recharge it at the ticket machine every time you need a top-up.

On top of that, the cost is the price of the pass you want to use. When you go to the machine to make your T-Mobilitat purchase (or top-up), you'll find two options: there is one specific card for the T-Usual, which requires ID as at present, and another for all the other passes such as the T-Casual, the T-Grup and T-Familiar, which are not linked to any ID document. Select your pass and pay as at present. 

You mean I can still buy 10-trips as with the T-Casual, but always on the same T-Mobilitat card?

That's right. Don't throw your T-Mobilitat away - keep topping it up and re-using it. And the other main difference with the T-Mobilitat is that you don't put it into the machine slot, but just hold it over the validation pad, as you would do for any contactless credit card.  

And what about the single ticket and the T-4?

At the moment the change affects the passes managed by the ATM, Barcelona's metropolitan transport authority. Therefore, the single ticket continues with a conventional format and does not change. Regarding the T-4, despite it being a pass, it is managed by the AMB, Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona, and for the moment it will not adapt to the change and will continue with the same system. Although perhaps, in the long run, these types of tickets will also end up converging, one way or another, into the 'contactless' system.