Spain To Allow Free Train Travel For All Throughout 2023

In a landmark move for travel accessibility, Spain will subsidize train travel for all passengers, local or tourist.

Renfe-operated commuter trains and medium-distance train journeys will be subsidized by the Spanish government for all travelers until the end of 2023 under the new initiative. The free trips do not apply to Renfe’s high-speed AVE trains that connect destinations like Madrid and Barcelona.

The free trips intend to relieve the cost of living crisis due to inflation, allowing resident commuters to save hundreds of euros simply trying to get to work.

Furthermore, the initiative aims to reduce the cost of traveling around Spain for tourists, giving greater incentive to visit the stunning European region.

Spain’s Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, also indicated an environmental incentive for the free train trips, aiming to encourage more travel by train than car.

Montero stated she intends to make the program permanent by saying, “We are going to convert this policy into a structural one and we will see the concrete results of public transport to reduce CO2. It is a priority policy in the coming years.”

In order to qualify for the free trips, travelers must purchase multi-journey tickets and pay a deposit of €10 (≈$9.77) for commuter trains or €20 (≈$19.55) for medium-distance trains.

The original proposal early in 2022 stated a refund would be given after completing 16 one-way journeys. But the deposit could still save travelers money as the deposit may be less than purchasing separate train rides.

In order to get free train travel in Spain, the rider must download the official app for Renfe and foreign tourists will have to enter their passport number.

All images from Renfe-SNCF INT

Written by
Danielle Levy

Danielle Levy is an MBA with a concentration in Corporate Social Responsibility. Danielle has several years of experience in the sustainability education world and has held various positions in human resources and intern management. Danielle is passionate about the ties between sustainability and social impact.

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