The Spanish government announced its plan to allow some RENFE services to be free of charge from September 1 until the end of the year.
Naturally, the aim is to allow the complimentary tickets to lessen the burden of the soaring inflation on Spanish citizens following the rise in energy prices and the general cost of living in Spain. Still, visitors can also join the (free) ride if they purchase multi-trip tickets.
The complimentary rides are not available for one-way or long-haul routes, but they do apply on multi-trip journeys (a minimum of ten round trips), commuter trains, and mid-distance routes (under 185 miles).
This means that tickets between some tourist hot spots would be complementary, like Léon to Madrid, Córdoba to Seville, Madrid to Toledo, Barcelona to Tarragona, and many routes from Barcelona to destinations in Catalonia, or in the Basque Country, including San Sebastian to Bilbao.
This new policy comes at the heels of a 30% discount on all public transport, including buses, trams, and metro travel, which was announced in June.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said last week, “I know that salaries cover less and less, and it is difficult to make ends meet. For people struggling to pay the soaring costs for food and energy, it may still be too expensive to take a vacation, but discounts like these will greatly help those who can take advantage of them.”
The Spanish Ministry of Transportation added in its public announcement: “This measure is meant to encourage the maximum use of public transportation… in light of the extraordinary circumstances of a constant increase in energy and fuel prices.”