Spain to make some train journeys free from September
Public transport prices on state-owned service across Spain have already been slashed in half in response to rapidly rising energy and inflation rates. Now the government has announced further 100% discounts.
As of September, passengers will be able to travel across various trains operated by public train network Renfe for absolutely nothing.
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced that multi-journey tickets for trains operated by the network's public services Cercanías, Rodalies and Media Distance (equivalent to local and medium-distance journeys) are to be free of charge from September 1 up until the end of the year.
The measure excludes single-journey tickets, or long-distance travels, according to public broadcaster TVE. Multi-journey tickets include a minimum of 10 return trips.
"This measure encourages to the maximum the use of this type of collective public transport to guarantee the needed daily commute with a safe, reliable, comfortable, economic and sustainable means of transportation, amid the extraordinary circumstances of the steady increase of energy and fuel prices," the Spanish Ministry of Transport said in a statement.
The Renfe scheme was announced shortly after the Spanish government committed to a reduction of 50% on public transport fees for state-owned transport.
Spain isn't the only European country that's taken measures to reduce public transport costs.
Last month, Germany launched a ?9 ($9.50) unlimited monthly public transport ticket that can be used on local and regional transport across the country. The deal, part of a government energy relief package, is scheduled to run until the end of August.
In late 2021, Austria introduced a heavily discounted "climate ticket" valid on all modes of public transport in the country, with the aim of encouraging people to leave their cars at home.
Klimaticket costs just $1,267 (?1,095) a year, which works out to around $3.50 a day.