Friday 30 March 2018

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife's capital is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, located in the north-east of the island.  Although it is not the largest city in the Canary Islands, it is home to the only tram system in the Canaries.  I paid a brief visit to Santa Cruz in February 2017.

The tram system is operated by MetroTenerife, and comprises two lines.

Line 1 links the centre of Santa Cruz with the nearby town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna (also known as La Laguna).

Line 2 is a short line running in Santa Cruz' suburbs, providing connections to line 1.



Tram tickets are sold at ticket machines at tram stops.  At the time of writing, a single ticket for the tram costs €1.35.  This does not permit transfers.  There is also an all-day ticket, for use on trams only, costing €4.50.

A 5-journey ticket, costing €6, does allow transfer to and from buses in the Santa Cruz area.  The BonoVia stored-value ticket, available in denominations of €15 and €25, can also be used with each tram journey being charged at €1.05.  This fare also permits transfer to and from buses in the Santa Cruz area. 

A monthly pass allowing unlimited travel by tram and bus within Santa Cruz and the surrounding towns of La Laguna, Tegueste and El Rosario is available for €45.

Transport Interurbanos de Tenerife, S.A. (TITSA) provides bus services across Tenerife.  This includes services to, from and locally within Santa Cruz.

I noted standard single-deck buses operating many of the services in and around Santa Cruz.

Some were in the latest all-green livery...


...some were in green with limited cream swirls...

...but many still carried an older livery of green and white.

I also noted some buses with advertising for visitor attractions on their lower panels.

These were operating on services into Santa Cruz from the popular resort areas.  This one is on a service returning to Puerto de la Cruz, on Tenerife's north coast, then on to Icod and Buenavista.

As in the southern resorts, I noted a few buses displaying non-existent route number 800.

I understand the "800 en servicio" display is used for buses which are running late and are not stopping to pick up passengers. 

In the southern resorts, most of the buses I saw were high-floor vehicles with steps at the entrance and exit doors.

In contrast, although I did observe some step-entrance buses in Santa Cruz, I noticed a greater proportion of low-floor buses with step-free access.

Another difference compared to the southern resorts was that some of the buses had three sets of doors, rather than two.

Not all of the buses I saw were full-length single-deckers.

I noted a number of these shorter vehicles on services operating locally within the city.


I also noted minibuses operating.

At the opposite end of the scale were articulated buses.

From what I could see, these were being used on some journeys on route 910 to Playa de Las Teresitas, a popular beach close to Santa Cruz.

Fares on TITSA buses vary according to the distance travelled.  Fares can be paid in cash on boarding, although using the BonoVia card (€15 or €25) offers a substantial saving.  As noted above, for regular travellers within the Santa Cruz metropolitan area, a monthly pass allowing unlimited journeys by bus and tram is available.

The main hub for buses in Santa Cruz is a multi-level terminus, Intercambiador.

Some local services terminate outside...


...while others use stands on the first floor of the building.


Longer-distance services, including those from and to the southern resorts, arrive and leave from the second floor.

Tram line 1 terminates outside the Intercambiador building.

Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours of Santa Cruz were being provided by City Sightseeing. using open-top double-deck buses.



The tours were starting from Plaza de España.

At the time of writing the tours are suspended.