Fare coordination

Framework Agreement between the Basque Government, the Biscay Provincial Government, the Bilbao City Council, and the Biscay Transport Consortium to take measures in order to coordinate fares in public transport.


Starting up the Bilbao metropolitan railway has meant a change for public passenger transport service in Biscay, posing an opportunity to integrate and find a framework for the services. On the other hand, the present offer of carrying passengers by highway via Bilbobus and Bizkaibus has attained levels of high-quality service that have come to be a reference point for further expansion of the service. Lastly, the strategic plan in which EuskoTren (Basque Railways) is immersed should be taken into account and will be the determining factor in ongoing negotiations. This new framework poses the opportunity to undertake a series of immediate actions that will allow for the maintenance of efficiency levels desired for the overall system so that the resources committed in the financing of the operation will guarantee the necessary investment level in new infrastructures.

The strengthening of public transport calls for a move towards coordinating existing fare systems through concrete action that will guarantee a principal of coordination in matters of fares and benefit the public transport commuters. Such coordination is to be in the area of trends dealing with tickets and fares already existent in public passenger transport.

To that end, and in order to reach the goals of effectiveness and efficiency in service and financial resources which have been committed, and as a step which will lead up to future coordinated action, the intervening Governments and Administrations.

Hereby Agree to the following:



  1. As a start in coordinating this area, a credit card or prepaid card will be set up which will be common to all carriers. Each one of them will maintain their own fare system: tickets, zones and fares, allowing for this card to be used in fare receipts. The card will be called CREDITRANS. CREDITRANS will allow for transfers at lower price. The same policy will be begun when use of this ticket is allowed with all carriers During the transition period and until this stage is reached, commuters will be able to use it in every established service. Likewise, during this period the new ticket will co-exist with other tickets which will be substituted. The period of time to set up CREDITRANS which will not penalize transfers will be the minimum possible to resolve problems of a technical nature which may arise.
  2. The management of the ticket will be undertaken from a single entity, namely the Biscay Transport Consortium, which will issue and distribute it among the various carriers. This process will be set up whenever it may be needed to be applied in the area of signed programme contracts , according to the will of the parties involved and will not require additional economic expenditure for the carriers.
  3. The Institutions involved -- The Basque Government, the Biscay Provincial Government, the Bilbao City Council -- as well as the Auditing Departments of each one of them may undertake any kind of check and verification regarding the administration of the ticket conducted by the Transport Consortium. To such an end, the Institutions will set up a Commission or Committee to act jointly within the Consortium. This shall be called the Commission for Transport Coordination and Administration.
  4. Upon signing this agreement, existing ticket receipt systems will be reviewed in which the needs of the carriers in this area will be determined, thereby contracting and making said systems adequate so that CREDITRANS will function for the better.
  5. In order to attain coordination from carriers under the Ministry of Fomento, necessary agreements will be formalized to work CREDITRANS into their services while at the same time allowing for their obligations and fixed objectives with the State to be maintained.
  6. The Biscay Transport Consortium will underwrite the agreements needed to make with the various carriers in order to launch the new ticket in accordance with what has been stipulated in this document and in the previous work achieved by the Coordination Commission. To such an end, the Institutions shall authorize transport carriers to underwrite the necessary agreements with the Consortium.

Upon adoption of this agreement, the carriers shall be notified of the content thereof within the space of one week.


  1. During the period of definition and carrying out of the activities described, the financing of the operating deficit and investment will continued to be covered, as far as it is within their power and in accordance with existing programme contracts, by each and every one of the Government administrations which are affected.
  2. Likewise, investment deemed necessary to the carriers to coordinate the fares will be met in the following manner: Investment for TSCA BILBOBUS, to be borne by the Bilbao City Council; investment for the operators of BIZKAIBUS, to be borne by the Biscay Provincial Government; investment for EuskoTren, to be borne by the Basque Government; and investment for the Bilbao Metro, by the Biscay Transport Consortium in accordance with the financing percentages currently applied: 50% by the Basque Government and 50% by the Biscay Provincial Government.
  3. The economic outcome arising from the management of CREDITRANS by the Consortium will imply the participating Institutions or the operator that they shall nominte on the basis of valid and certified ticket receipts within the area of their authority. This outcome may be positive or negative according to the costs and income concurrent with the activity. The costs to be attributed shall be those corresponding to the financial management of the balance, to the control of the periods of the validity of the ticket and to advertising present on the ticket. Investment necessary to start up the operation shall be applied to the outcome of the first exercise, involving the Institutions and Operators in accordance with the set criterion of ticket receipts.

We, the undersigned, hereby express our agreement with the Framework Agreement, signed on this day, eleventh June, nineteen hundred and ninty-seven, in Bilbao.

Jose Antonio Maturana
Minister for Transportation and Public Works of the Basque Government
Josu Bergara
Head of the Biscay Provincial Government and President of the Biscay Transport Consortium
Carlos García Cañibano
Vice-minister for Transportation and Public Works of the Basque Government
Martín Martínez
Provincial Minister of Transportation for Biscay
Pedro Barreiro
Bilbao City Councilman
Eukeni Larrondo
Managing Director of the Biscay Transport Consortium