Spain to make some train journeys free from September


(CNN) — Public transport prices on state-owned service across Spain have already been slashed in half in response to rapidly rising energy and inflation rates. Now the government has announced further 100% discounts.

As of September, passengers will be able to travel across various trains operated by public train network Renfe for absolutely nothing.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced that multi-journey tickets for trains operated by the network’s public services Cercanías, Rodalies and Media Distance (equivalent to local and medium-distance journeys) are to be free of charge from September 1 up until the end of the year.

The measure excludes single-journey tickets, or long-distance travels, according to public broadcaster TVE. Multi-journey tickets include a minimum of 10 return trips.

Saving money and environment

“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.

The Renfe scheme was announced shortly after the Spanish government committed to a reduction of 50% on public transport fees for state-owned transport.

Spain isn’t the only European country that’s taken measures to reduce public transport costs.

Last month, Germany launched a €9 ($9.50) unlimited monthly public transport ticket that can be used on local and regional transport across the country. The deal, part of a government energy relief package, is scheduled to run until the end of August.
In late 2021, Austria introduced a heavily discounted “climate ticket” valid on all modes of public transport in the country, with the aim of encouraging people to leave their cars at home.

Klimaticket costs just $1,267 (€1,095) a year, which works out to around $3.50 a day.

Top image credit: María José López/Europa Press/AP

Tamara Hardingham-Gill and Ben Jones also contributed to this report

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