More than 1,5 million people in Spain now make use of free train tickets

Passengers on train platform in Spain Renfe

Renfe says more than 1,5 million free train passes have been issued since the tickets for free travel became available on August 24. Subscriptions for the Cercanías and Rodalies services are the most popular.

According to information published by Renfe this week, passes for free use of the Cercanías and Rodalies services until the end of the year account for close to 72 percent of the total number of free tickets issued. The medium-distance services have a share of 28,3 percent in the campaign.

The free tickets are especially popular in Barcelona and Madrid. More than 392.000 people in the capital have obtained a train pass, while that almost half a million people did so in Catalonia.

For the Cercanías commuter rail services, the availability of free passes has meant that passenger number are nearing pre-corona levels. In Madrid, the use of Cercanías services in September was 20,2 percent higher compared to the same month in 2021. In Barcelona, the increase was 23,5 percent, whereas in cities such as Malaga, Bilbao and Cádiz, the use of commuter rail was up around 50 percent compared to last year.

Travellers using Renfe’s Avant and high-speed AVE services are not eligible for a free pass. However, if their travel time is less than 100 minutes, they receive a 50-percent discount. This, too, has resulted in an uptick of users. Close to 30,000 discounted tickets have been issued over the past six weeks.

Author: Nick Augusteijn

Chief Editor, RailTech.com

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