The Government will finally discount 50% of the price of some commercial routes of the AVE
The energy saving plan approved on Monday by the Government will also include the measure by which the Cercanías, Rodalies and Media Distancia trains managed by Renfe will be free from September to December for recurring users with the aim of alleviating the pressure of families in the face of escalating inflation. A measure to which the Executive will allocate 201 million euros.
The royal decree law establishes that it will be the Secretary of State that will set the limitations and conditions for the application of this gratuity. But sources from the Ministry of Transport clarify that the idea is to create new subscriptions valid for the four months of application that, in the case of the Cercanías, will be valid for each nucleus (one for Madrid, another for Bilbao, etc.).
To acquire these free tickets in Cercanías, users will have to pay a deposit of 10 euros, which will be returned after four months of application if more than 16 trips have been made in the period (four per month, for example). If the user pays that amount by credit card, the refund will be made directly to his account. If you do it in cash, you will have to go to the box office to request a refund.
As explained by the Ministry of Transport, it will be the State that assumes the payment of the amount that the consortiums pay to Renfe for the season tickets in Cercanías and Rodalies (Catalonia), provided that the consortiums reduce the price of integrated tickets or the installments in the proportional part that they stop paying to Renfe.
The mechanism is simple. Whenever a user buys a monthly pass (which is used for EMT, Metro, Cercanías, etc), income is generated. For these services, the consortia pay Renfe an amount, which is what the State would cover in exchange for the consortium lower the price of the subscription by the same amount, preventing it from being used for other purposes.
In the case of Media Distancia, the tool will be similar to the one used in Cercanías services. Recurring users will also be able to acquire a subscription valid for the four months of application of the measure. Although in this case, the deposit they will have to pay will be 20 euros. “This amount, on average for Media Distance OSP (Public Service Obligations) services, is less than the price of three individual tickets,” Ministry sources indicate.
To ensure that there is no abuse of the measure and that it will serve mainly recurring users, the payment in this case will be by route (that is, by line, for example Madrid-Salamanca). But citizens who do not use these services on a regular basis and also foreigners will not be able to benefit from free services.
As the Government has already confirmed, Avant high-speed services (High-Speed Media Distance services) are excluded from total gratuity, although they will have a 50% discount on multi-trip tickets already approved in Royal Decree Law 11 /2022. In this case, users will buy their usual subscription, on which that price reduction will be paid.
As a novelty, the Government has decided to include in this 50% discount certain high-speed routes in commercial services, with new subscriptions under conditions similar to the Avant on high-speed lines in which there are no OSPs (or framework agreements and travel time is less than 100 minutes.
Among the lines that will benefit from these new subscriptions are Madrid-Palencia, Madrid-Zamora, León-Valladolid, Burgos-Madrid, León-Palencia, Burgos-Valladolid, Ourense-Zamora, Palencia-Valladolid, Huesca-Zaragoza, Leon-Segovia, among others.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.