A train user holds up her new free pass at Malaga's main station. / ÑITO SALAS

Free travel starts for frequent travellers on local trains

The government scheme is to help people reduce the cost of living and will be in place on the area's Cercanías lines until the end of the year at least

I. LILLO / SUR MALAGA.

Free local train travel for frequent users started on Thursday this week on the Costa del Sol, just as across the rest of Spain.

The move to make multi trip and season tickets free on the Cercanías lines and half price on medium distance trains is part of the government's measures to ease the cost of living as fuel prices continue to soar.

In Malaga province, over 7,000 people had already applied ahead of the first day for the free passes for the two local rail lines from Malaga to Fuengirola via the airport and to Álora. Their 10 euro deposit will be returned providing they make 16 trips. The scheme will be in place until the end of the year at least.

The first people to ride free on Thursday morning were mostly local people on their way to work.

"It should be like this forever, not just for a few months... people are really worse off lately," said Inmaculada, who lives in Malaga city and works as a hotel cleaner in Fuengirola.

Lucía, who was on her way to work experience in Torremolinos said, "It's very good. I save on the cost of the journey which helps to fund my placement."