Free Train Tickets in Spain

The Spanish government has decided to introduce a one hundred percent discount on all medium-distance train routes. So Spanish commuters can now celebrate free train travel.

The benefits of this new measure can be enjoyed by regular passengers from 1st September 2022 onwards.

The scheme will apply on the following trains: Madrid's Cercanías trains, Rodalies trains in Catalonia, and conventional "Media Distancia" (medium-distance trains) provided by Renfe. So passengers boarding these trains will travel free.

This measure will be in effect till 31st December 2022. Here are some details of these free train journeys in Spain.

Free train travel in Spain

During this free train ticket period in Spain, around 75 million journeys will be made between the stations and with the trains mentioned before, according to MITMA (Spain's Ministry of Transport, Mobility, and Urban Agenda). 

Under the leadership of Raquel Sanchez, the Ministry also said that this figure might well increase, thanks to the free transport. He's expecting many people to switch to public transport due to this unprecedented step taken by the Spanish government - which will run till 31st December 2022.

Cercanías, Rodalies, and Media Distancia will be free of charge

The free tickets and services that will benefit a large section of Spanish society can be put in two main categories.

  • The free train tickets will be available on Rodalies and Cercanias commuter trains for all and any multi-journey tickets in Catalonia and Madrid respectively. This will exclude the standard return journeys of these passengers. The same laws and process also apply to the Renfe Media Distancia trains - for the multi-journey tickets.
  • A discount of 50 percent will be given on Avant regional services. Similarly, a discount of 30 percent will be awarded for the transport depending on autonomous regions. According to the statements made by politicians, this whole scheme by the government is mainly focused on improving the daily travel of citizens for study or work reasons.

Difficult economic context favours the return to public transport

But how will this whole scenario work out in practice? According to the representatives of Spain's Ministry of Transport, there has been some progress in that area. The details that will eventually make it easier to figure out how to make season tickets available to frequent passengers are currently being developed. 

Not only that, say the representatives, but the tools and systems needed to carry out the entire process in a convenient, flexible and fast way for the passengers have been activated. 

The government of Spain has pointed to high inflation in the context of the current economic state of the country. In June 2022, the CPI rate reached a baffling 10.2%. Given the rise in the prices of energy and fuel, the government is trying to boost public transport among its citizens.


Switching to public transport can solve a lot of other pressing issues as well.

According to the experts' calculations, and as reported by the Executive, every journey that takes place with public transport instead of a private vehicle saves between 73% and 80% in CO2 emissions on average, if the journey is made by metro or train, "not forgetting other improvements in terms of pollution, congestion or greater road safety".

If we are to believe the experts, for every journey that has been converted from private to public transport, CO2 emissions of between 73%-80% are being saved. 

And this is in addition to the other benefits such as less pollution and better road safety.