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In an attempt to to help with the cost of living crisis, the Spanish Government is introducing a very interesting new transport policy. Travel across much of the state-owned rail network, Renfe, will be free (for many users) from tomorrow until the end of the year!
The initiative will cover short and medium trips and is targeted to help commuters and frequent train users in particular:
The Royal Decree-law includes the creation of a specific multi-trip ticket for each Cercanías or Rodalies hub valid for unlimited trips between any origin and destination between September 1 and December 31, 2022. The ticket will be free for all users who make 16 or more trips in the four months of validity of the bonus. Customers must pay a deposit of 10 euros to acquire the new recurring Cercanías or Rodalies subscription, which will be returned at the end of the validity period once the recurrence is verified by the control means provided.
A special multi-trip ticket will also be created with unlimited trips for conventional Media Distancia services valid for four months. A subscription will be sold for each of the routes (origin-destination) and they will be free for users who make 16 or more journeys during the validity period. In this case, a deposit of 20 euros will have to be paid, which will be returned after December 31, also after verifying the recurrence by the control means provided.
There are also discounts available on other routes and you can read the full details here.
The Spanish Ministry of Transport said of the radical plan:
“This measure encourages using public transport to guarantee a safe, reliable, comfortable, economic and sustainable means of doing the daily commute amid the extraordinary increase of energy and fuel prices,”
The plan is aimed primarily at commuters (who will potentially save 100s of Euros), but savvy tourists should also be able to take advantage by buying multi-tickets.
In the current climate, cutting (or in this case, scrapping!) train fares is beneficial for the environment as well as helping with a cost of living crisis. I’m sure there are many commuters here in the UK who would love to see a similar scheme introduced…
With rail traffic still considerably down compared to pre-pandemic levels, is this a good way to boost numbers or a waste of taxpayers money?