Renfe estimates four million free journeys will be available on Malaga's local trains after PM Sánchez announcement

Travel passes for rail connections to Seville and on the Algeciras-Antequera line will also enjoy a 100 per cent discount during the last quarter of the year

ANTONIO JAVIER LÓPEZ

More than four million journeys will be free of charge on the Malaga Cercanias lines during the last quarter of this year. This forecast from Renfe follows the announcement made on Tuesday, 12 July, by the Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez, in his state of the nation address, to give a 100 per cent discount on Renfe rail travel passes for local services in large towns and cities and on medium distance trains. This second category will include, in the case of the province of Malaga, the connections with Seville and the line between Algeciras and Antequera.

Until now, the discount has been 50 per cent, but it has been increased to encourage people to use public transport instead of their own vehicles in the face of high fuel prices.

The measure is part of the government´s ambitious plan to combat the consequences of the economic crisis that has afflicted the income of millions of families and businesses, besieged by inflation (which this Wednesday marks a historic 10.6 per cent in Malaga), the energy bill, the rise of the Euribor and the escalation in fuel prices and raw materials.

Renfe adds that the four million free journeys (4,037,000) on the Costa del Sol's local lines represent an estimate made by the railway operating company, which takes into account the foreseeable effect that the free tickets will have among the users of the lines connecting the capital with Fuengirola and Alora.

The latest state budget estimates are for an allocation of 1.4 billion euros to Renfe under its public service obligations for its suburban and medium-distance trains (those that cover journeys of less than 300 kilometres).

Details on how the 100 per cent discount on train tickets from 1 September-31 December will be put into practice is not currently available.