Public transportation in Madrid is reliable, safe, clean and far more practical than driving. The metro tends to run on time, but buses can get held up in Madrid’s monstrous traffic. Violent crime is not much of a problem in Madrid in general, and people feel relatively safe riding the buses and trains at just about any time of the day. Even late at night, there tend to be a lot of people riding the metro, so it’s rare that you’ll find yourself alone in a train car or on a station platform.
Although you shouldn’t worry about violent crime when on public transportation, you should be wary of pickpockets. Pick-pocketing is a big problem in Madrid, especially if you look foreign. The best way to avoid being pick-pocketed on public transportation is to always hold your bag in front of you when riding and walking through the stations. Pickpockets in Madrid are quick and rehearsed, so if you are not careful of your belongings, you might not even realize what’s happened until you can’t find your wallet or mobile when you next need it. Keep a tight hold of your belongings and watch your bags closely and you should be fine. If you are pick-pocketed or see a pickpocket in the station, alert the metro security guards or the bus conductor.
The metro stations, trains and buses are all washed nightly, as are Madrid’s streets, making commutes and walks through the city all the more pleasant.