Saturday, 17 October 2015

Sitges, Spain

The small town of Sitges lies on the Spanish Mediterranean coast, around 30 kilometres west of Barcelona.  It is a popular holiday destination.

A network of three bus routes operates within the town.  These services, numbered L1, L2 and L3, are provided by a subsidiary of Moventis.

All three routes converge at Sitges railway station, at 15 and 45 minutes past each hour.  Each route is operated with one bus.  A fleet of three small-sized hybrid buses is used. 

With three buses required for service and three hybrids in the fleet, spare cover is provided by standard diesel-powered vehicles.  On most of the days I spent in Sitges in August 2015, at least one diesel bus was operating.

Despite their relatively small size, these vehicles have three sets of doors.




At the time of writing, a single fare on the L1, L2 or L3 costs €1.50.

The railway station is as close as the buses can get to the centre of Sitges.  The narrow streets of the old town are pedestrianised.  They are, however, within a few minutes' walk of the railway station.

Going out of town

Two operators provide bus services linking Sitges with surrounding towns.

Plana operates a local service from Sitges inland to Sant Pere de Ribes, then returning to the coast to the town of Vilanova.

The service runs every 20 minutes on weekdays, less frequently at weekends and public holidays.

Buses start from the railway station, with inbound buses also calling at Parc Can Robert on Passeig Vilafranca.

Plana also operate minibuses also operate into Sitges, on a couple of infrequent services from the surrounding area.

These services terminate and start at Parc Can Robert, a short walk from the railway station.



Although suburban trains provide a relatively fast and frequent link between Sitges and Barcelona, there is also a bus service operated by Mon-Bus.

Unlike the trains, the bus service provides a direct link between Sitges and Barcelona's airport.

Beyond Sitges the buses continue to Vilanova and coastal towns further west.  The service generally runs half-hourly on weekdays, hourly at weekends.

I found a variety of vehicles in use.  Some were two-axle single-deck buses.



I also noticed one three-axle bus.

All the Mon-Bus vehicles I saw were high-floor with step entrances.  Nevertheless, all were wheelchair-accessible.

And this is the reason for the buses being high-floor.  As the bus links coastal towns with Barcelona airport, luggage is carried in compartments below the floor.


As well as buses, several coaches were also being used on the Mon-Bus service. 


In Sitges, the main stop for the Mon-bus service is at Parc Can Robert.

Since my visit to Sitges, the Mon-Bus service has been reorganised.  On weekdays, the existing bus service continues to run to and from Barcelona airport, but no longer continues into the centre of Barcelona.  There is now a separate route from Sitges to Barcelona city centre, operated as part of the expré network (website in Catalan only).  This service runs direct, not serving the airport.  expré is being developed as a network of 40 interurban express bus services in Spain's Catalonia region.  The purpose of expré is explained on the Polis website.

At weekends, the expré service does not operate.  The Mon-Bus route continues to serve Barcelona city centre (as well as the airport) at weekends

Fares and tickets

Fares and ticketing on public transport in and around Sitges, Barcelona and the surrounding region are based on a zonal system coordinated by the metropolitan transport authority, ATM Àrea de Barcelona.

ATM sets prices for multi-journey tickets for 10, 50 or 70 journeys.  These allow transfers between services (including suburban trains and Barcelona's tram and metro systems) within a time limit.  One ticket cannot be used for a round trip, even within the time limit.  Daily, monthly and three-month tickets allowing unlimited travel within the relevant zone(s) are also sold.

There is less co-ordination of single journey ticket prices.  Single journey tickets do not allow transfers between buses or onto rail or metro services.

No comments:

Post a comment