Thousands register with Renfe for free train tickets on first day
Renfe registered more than 81,000 new users on Tuesday, the first day of registration for the free train passes that will become available later this month for use from September onwards.
In July, Spanish president Pedro Sánchez announced discounts of up to 100 percent for certain Renfe services. The offer applies to Cercanías, Rodalies de Catalunya and Media Distancia routes. The initiative has created a lot of buzz. With a total of 81,023 new users on Tuesday, the number of registrations came out 23 times higher compared to a normal day.
The Cercanías and Rodalies season passes for the period of September through December require a deposit of 10 euros, the medium-distance pass a deposit of 20 euros. The deposits will be refunded when travellers fulfil the requirement of making at least 16 trips in the mentioned four-month-period.
Registered user can obtain the passes, which will be a QR card for one’s mobile phone, starting on August 24. Renfe published a video (in Spanish) on Tuesday explaining the process in more detail. You can watch it here.
The free train tickets were introduced as part of a government effort to reduce the cost of living in light of high inflation and elevated energy costs. “I am fully aware of the daily difficulties that most people face. I know that your salary is getting less and less, that it is difficult to make ends meet, and that your shopping basket is becoming more and more expensive”, Sánchez said during the Spanish equivalent of the US State of the Union address back in July. The Spanish plan echoes the German 9 euro ticket, which was also introduced against the backdrop of the increased cost of living.