Travelers visiting Spain this fall are in store for a pleasant — and convenient — surprise.
Pedro Sánchez, prime minister of Spain, recently announced that anyone will be able to ride various trains operated by the state-owned rail network, Renfe, for free.
Here’s what you need to know about riding Spain’s trains this fall.
1. When You Can Ride For Free
Beginning September 1, passengers will be able to travel on some, but not all, trains operated by Renfe for free. The policy will remain in place through December 21, 2022.
2. Which Rides Are Free
The tickets will be free for several train trips.
Tickets will be free on multi-trip ticket journeys, which is 10 or more, on the public service trains of Cercanías, Rodalies, and Media Distance. These trains are equivalent to local or commuter trips, as well as medium-distance journeys under 300 kilometers (about 186 miles). Tickets for trains between many tourism destinations will be free, such as trips from Léon to Madrid, Granada to Málaga, Córdoba to Seville, Madrid to Toledo, Barcelona to Tarragona, A Coruña to Santiago, and Valencia to Requena Utiel, according to AFAR.
On the other hand, single-journey tickets or tickets for long-distance trips will not be free.
3. Why Rides Will Be Free
Making train rides free is part of Spain’s response to increasing inflation.
“I’d like the people of Spain to know that I’m fully aware of the daily difficulties that most people have,” Prime Minister Sánchez said in his announcement. “I know salaries cover less and less and that it’s difficult to make ends meet.”
The program also is in response to rising fuel prices.
“This measure encourages to the maximum the use of this type of collective public transport to guarantee the needed daily commute with a safe, reliable, comfortable, economic, and sustainable means of transportation, amid the extraordinary circumstances of the steady increase of energy and fuel prices,” the Spanish Ministry of Transport said in a statement.
Indeed, the announcement comes after Spain already announced a series of fare reductions for state-owned land public transport services.
4. Who Can Ride For Free
The plan for free train fare is intended to help the people of Spain cope with rising inflation and fuel prices. However, there is no stipulation that one must be a citizen to ride the trains for free.
If you’ll be in Spain this fall, just keep in mind that free train fare will not apply to single-journey commuter trains or long-distance routes such as Madrid to Murcia.
5. Another Country Offering Free Public Transportation
Spain isn’t the only European country offering free public transportation.
Indeed, Germany began offering a €9 ($9.50) unlimited monthly public transport ticket last month as part of the country’s energy relief package. The tickets, which will be available through August, can be used on local and regional transport across the country, according to CNN.
Regardless of whether you’re planning a trip, be sure to visit our other Spain content: