Renfe attracts 27% more passengers in Spain thanks to free train tickets

by Lorraine Williamson
more train passengers for Renfe

Renfe attracts 27% more passengers thanks to the offer of free train tickets. As of September 1, 900,000 train season tickets have already been issued and the railway company has 250,000 more travellers every day than last year. 

During a speech on Monday, Transport Minister Raquel Sánchez said she was pleased with the effects of this measure. The offer aims to attract more travellers to public transport in the last quarter of this year. Thus by offering free train tickets for short and medium distances. The minister has not yet commented on whether this measure will be extended beyond December. She did, however, talk about a planned evaluation of this together with her ministry. 

Free train tickets only way to promote use in Spain 

The transport ministry leader said that 27% more passengers are travelling to and from the city by train. Furthermore, the same increase is not seen in people who take the car to make the same journey. “Offering the train as a means of transport for free is the only way to promote its use. And it works,” Minister Sánchez continued. 

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“The 7.5 million people who chose Renfe’s high-speed and long-distance train instead of the car this summer alone saved more than 3,140,000 tons of CO2. This measure is therefore of great importance when it comes to achieving the environmental targets for 2030. 

Big plans for rail in Spain 

At the end of her speech about the success of the temporary free provision of train tickets, the minister talked about the renovation of the Chamartín train station (Madrid). Thanks to the tunnel connecting Chamartín to Atocha, these become the main train stations for a good connection through Madrid. 

After the renovation, which will cost €388 million for the time being, the station will be able to welcome more than 40 million passengers a year by 2040. Together with the liberalisation of high-speed services in Spain, train travel to and through Spain is becoming increasingly attractive. 

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