Free travel on local and medium distance trains in Spain: this is how to apply for latest release of season tickets
Rail travel

Free travel on local and medium distance trains in Spain: this is how to apply for latest release of season tickets

The new batch of passes for regular passengers using Renfe services allow the government subsidised travel arrangement until 31 August

Rossel Aparicio


Tuesday, 9 April 2024, 18:58


There is good news coming down the tracks for Renfe state railway company passengers in Spain. As from Monday 8 April onwards, it is now possible for regular users to obtain free rail passes to use on journeys on short to medium-distance services until 31 August. (Cercanías are the local commuter services, Servicios de Proximidad are the higher-volume connecting services between Cercanías and the main lines, and Media Distancia are the inter-city stopping services for journeys of 60-300km).

According to Renfe, these multi-journey tickets will be valid for use during the second four-month period of 2024. Below is a run-through of all the key information: from ticket purchase and conditions of travel through to the deposit required to pay for these travel cards. This scheme aims to encourage increased use of public transport while lessening the effects of the recent ticket price increases.

  1. Where and how to get free season tickets

Passes can be purchased via the Renfe Cercanías mobile app or, in the case of Media Distancia and Avant travel passes, via the company's website Both require customers to register before purchasing. This is the quickest way to save on waiting times. Passes can also be obtained at ticket offices and self-service machines at Renfe railway stations.

The Cercanías app "allows the purchase of Cercanías season tickets for unlimited journeys within a given time period in a quick, simple and efficient way, generating a QR code that is downloaded to your mobile phone and can then be used at any station's ticket barriers", said a Renfe spokesperson.

  1. Deposit of 10 or 20 euros

Although the pass is free of charge, users will have to pay a deposit of 10 euros for Cercanías and Servicios de Proximidad services and 20 euros for each dedicated Media Distancia service. Payment by bank card will allow the deposit to be automatically refunded once the four months are up and the proof is there that the condition of having made 16 journeys in that period has been met.

For children under 14 years of age without an ID card, an unlimited travel season ticket has also been created for Media Distancia services, which can be purchased at or via the Renfe app. Parents or guardians may purchase, by means of their NIF, NIE or passport, a maximum of four travel cards for children, only for a single journey-start and journey-end during the given period of validity.

For Avant rail services the 50% discount will be extended. The same discount will be applied to other high-speed routes that have been declared as Obligación de Servicio Público (OSP) - a necessary train route.

As for the local services on the Palma del Río-Villa del Río and Málaga-El Chorro-Caminito del Rey lines, the conditions of the Cercanías season tickets will also apply to them in 2024, so the deposit will be 10 euros.

  1. Return of the deposit

According to Renfe, passengers who have used the free Cercanías or Media Distancia travel card in the first four months of 2024 will be refunded their deposits paid, provided that they have fulfilled the conditions of the multi-journey ticket. Thus, users who paid the deposit by card will be automatically refunded to that card. To clarify any doubts or to clear up anything unexpected, Renfe has set up a specific telephone number, 91 919 15 67. This number will provide all the information on these free passes.

  1. Formalising reservations, annuities and cancellations

According to Renfe, it is on Media Distancia and Avant services that "improper use is still detected, preventing all members of the public from benefiting from these measures". For this reason, since the beginning of the year the company has continued with initiatives to ensure their correct use. Therefore, on the regular Media Distancia routes Renfe has set the limit of one hour, (previously just 10 minutes), before train departure time for a seat reservation to be either confirmed or cancelled by the season ticket holder.

If on at least three occasions they have not cancelled their seat in advance, they will lose the right to purchase new tickets for the next 30 days.

Previously a communication would have been sent using the contact details of the passenger to warn them of the possible consequences of failing to cancel on time. Now, if on at least three occasions they have not cancelled their seat in advance, they will lose the right to purchase new season tickets for the next 30 days.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios