Renfe users obtain more than 90,000 free rail passes on first day
Some 92.000 Renfe users got their hands on one of the free rail passes for the September-December period on the first day of availability last week, the operator said.
The free tickets are available on the Cercanías, Rodalies and medium-distance trains. More than 400.000 people have registered with Renfe to obtain the tickets online. People who are not registered can acquire the free season passes at ticket offices or self-service machines.
To avoid bottlenecks at selling points and service centres, 851 new employees were hired in an effort to beef up Renfe’s customer service division. They will start on September 1, when the free passes become valid. Renfe last week urged travellers to obtain their tickets before September 5, when the holiday period comes to an end and crowds are expected to return to the stations.
While the initiative has generated a lot of buzz, some association fear overcrowding and increased passenger numbers at the expense of other forms of public transport. Jordi Porta of Public Transport Association for Catalonia PTP told RailTech.com earlier this month that argues that the money spent on the free train passes should have been channelled towards improving public transport as a whole.