Regular travellers will save money with the scheme. / sur

Free local and medium distance rail journeys in Spain: this is how the new season ticket scheme works

Those interested can now register on the Renfe website, although the multi-journey tickets will not be issued until 24 August and can only be used between 1 September and 31 December

ROSSEL APARICIO

Regular users of local and medium-distance trains operated by Spain's rail company Renfe can benefit from free travel from 1 September to 31 December this year. People can obtain information and apply for their season tickets on the Renfe website from today, Monday 8 August, although they will not be issued until 24 August.

This free travel scheme is one of the cost-of-living measures approved recently by the government and it applies to Renfe’s Rodalies, Cercanías, Media Distancia and Avant services.

Deposit of 10 or 20 euros

For local and Rodalies train services, people will have to pay a ten-euro deposit which will be refunded if they prove they have used their ticket during the four months the scheme is in force. In other words, this type of travel will be free for users who make 16 or more journeys between 1 September and the end of the year.

A similar system applies for medium-distance journeys, although in this case the deposit is 20 euros. The tickets apply for each individual route and are free for those who make at least 16 journeys on that line during the period in question. The deposits will be refunded on 31 December.

For some of the Avant medium-distance, high-speed services there will be a 50% discount for multiple journeys. The government says the discount will apply to regular travellers on certain high-speed services with a journey time of less than 100 minutes.

The lines where users can benefit from these new season tickets include Madrid-Palencia, Madrid-Zamora, León-Valladolid, Burgos-Madrid, León-Palencia, Burgos-Valladolid, Ourense-Zamora, Palencia-Valladolid, Huesca-Zaragoza, León-Segovia, Segovia-Zamora; Palencia-Segovia and Medina del Campo-Zamora.

Renfe also points out that sales of the usual multi-journey and other season tickets will be suspended during the four months this scheme is in force. Only single or return fares at the usual rates will be available.