As part of the Spanish government’s scheme to reduce public transport costs for regular users and to encourage people to use trains and buses instead of their cars, the state Renfe railway company announced on Thursday 29 December that its free travel passes are now available for the period up to the end of April.
These apply to regular uses of local and medium-distance services; passes for local journeys can be acquired through the Cercanías Renfe app while for medium-distance and Avant trains they are available on the Renfe website, www.renfe.com.
The extension to the free pass also includes Avant services between Ourense and A Coruña and between Madrid and Salamanca on the conventional gauge network, and the new Murcia-Alicante services on the high-speed lines. For other Avant services, there is a discount of 50%.
Although the travel passes are free to use, a 10-euro deposit is required for local and Rodalies services and a 20-euro deposit for each conventional medium-distance route. If the requisite number of journeys (at least 16) are made within the validity period the deposit will be refunded, and for anyone who pays with a bank card this will be done automatically.
Travellers who have been using the local, Rodalies or medium-distance routes in 2022 will receive their refund in January.
Since the free travel scheme came into force in August, Renfe has issued around 2.5 million travel passes. In order to discourage people from abusing the system by booking several journeys and only using one or none at all, the railway company has announced that offenders will be fined and their free travel passes withdrawn. So far, 200 passes have been cancelled.