MADRID – From September 1 to December 31, 2022 (with possible extension), residents of Spain as well as visitors such as tourists can ride certain trains for free or with a 50% discount. This always concerns holders of multi-journey tickets with which one must make at least 16 journeys. The free or discounted trains is one of the measures taken by the government to reduce the high costs for millions of residents of Spain.
From September 1 to December 31, 2022, all residents of Spain, as well as visitors and tourists, can travel for free or with a discount in Spain. However, it always applies that the passenger must buy a multi-trip ticket by leaving a deposit and that this only applies to certain trains. The government has calculated that it could save some travelers up to 1,000 euros in their wallets.
To take advantage of the 100% and 50% discounts on the cercanías, rodalies and media distancia (Avant) trains, you must go to THIS ONE website (in Spanish) or use the Renfe smartphone app (in Spanish). If you are in Spain you can also go to a train station. You must purchase a multi-trip ticket (abono) and pay a deposit (depósito/fianza) of 10 euros for the cercanías and rodalies trains and 20 euros for the media distancia (Avant) trains. You will get this ‘fianza’ back from Renfe after you have made 16 train journeys. If you don’t get the 16 rides, you won’t get the deposit back either.
The 100% discount applies to the so-called ‘abonos de cercanías, rodalies’, ie multi-journey tickets or subscriptions for short-distance trains. This discount therefore does not apply to long-distance journeys and high-speed trains or AVE/AVLO, nor to individual or individual train tickets such as a one-way or return ticket to Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia.
The discount applies to the cercanías, rodalies and media distancia (Avant) trains operated by the Spanish railway company Renfe (see the bottom of the article for an explanation of the trains). In fact, there has been a 50% discount since June, but from September 1 to December 31, 2022, this will be 100% for holders of subscriptions or multi-ride tickets (abonos).
The 50% discount applies to the media distancia or Avant trains (Media Distancia Alta Velocidad) for journeys of less than 300 kilometers. These are therefore not the AVE/AVLO high-speed trains for which no discount applies.
This 100% or 50% discount therefore does not apply to the AVE/AVLO high-speed trains and long-distance trains, but also not to the regional train connections that fall under the responsibility of the autonomous regions. There is a 30% discount that can be extended by the regional authorities, with the government proposing to increase this to 60%. The discounts therefore do not apply to the metro, tram or buses or to school transport and certainly not to tourist transport.
Types of trains in Spain
There are many types of trains in Spain of the Spanish railway company Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles (Renfe) including the AVE (high-speed trains), AVLO (budget high-speed trains), larga distancia (long-distance trains), media distancia (medium-distance trains), cercanías (regional or short-distance trains) and the Catalan Rodalies (Catalan regional or short-distance trains).