Ticket to ride

February 23, 2023
Residents of Barcelona’s Metropolitan Area who agree to give up their old cars get a free public transport ticket for 3 years! This tempting offer convinced Edu to go car-free...
Manchester, UK. Photo: Mangopear creative

Edu Bernal is an administrator in a cultural management company in Barcelona and developed a cooperative housing model. He has two children and recently took up the offer of a three year free public transport ticket in exchange for giving up his car, as part of the city’s T-Verde scheme.

Clean Cities: What made you decide to take up the scrappage scheme and how did it change your habits?

I believe that we all have to make decisions about our habits. I wasn’t convinced by the idea of buying another vehicle that uses solid fuels, so when the scheme came about I decided it was time to stop registering the vehicle and use public transportation instead and car-sharing with ‘Som Mobilitat’ instead.

CC: How much did you drive before and were you already looking for a way to change your habits?

I was driving every day, and yes, I started to become aware of climate change and pollution in the cities, so even if it was little, I had to do something…

CC: What changes has taking public transport made to your life? Good and bad!

As for the good things, I have time to read, study, inform myself… I can use the time sitting on the train, subway or bus to do this… As for bad things, the public transport doesn’t always work perfectly, and when it fails you can be stuck. You are dependent on external variables that you cannot control. Another good thing is that I save money. A really important change is coming!

CC: What are the key factors in designing a new scrappage scheme? (flexibility. Cost etc?)

Offers like the one I took advantage of, free public transportation for 3 years, seemed very convincing. It was a very interesting offer when it came to making up my mind. I don’t know if there are other possibilities, but this one seems to me to be a very good solution.

CC: What other changes can policy-makers make to help people change their habits?

To improve public transport and especially after the pandemic, to consolidate the changes from teleworking and make this a better option for other people.

If you would like to find out more about the policies cities and governments can use to help people switch to cleaner transport, read through our briefing.


More about Barcelona’s T-Verda (green card) Scheme

T-Verda was introduced in 2017, giving residents of Barcelona’s metropolitan area the chance to give up their private car in exchange for free public transport. The ticket covers the tram, subway, trains and inter-city buses. The scheme targets older diesel vehicles (pre-2006) and petrol cars more than 25 years old. If a pass holder buys a new car they lose their free transport. Over 12,000 citizens have received T-Verda cards, leading to over 10,000 polluting vehicles being scrapped.
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