The premiere of free trips on Renfe shoots up the number of travelers by 50% | Economy

The premiere this Thursday of the free vouchers to travel on the Cercanías and Media Distancia trains has triggered a 50% increase in the use of the transport network compared to the usual use that was registered in 2019, before the pandemic, as announced the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez. The minister, who went to the Madrid Cercanías de Nuevos Ministerios station, indicated that up to ten this morning, coinciding with the peak hours for the beginning of the working day, 94,000 travelers had used these vouchers in the Community of Madrid, which, In addition to the government subsidies, it has extended the discount to up to 50% on integrated monthly Metro and bus passes.

Transport estimates that the implementation of these free bonuses from this Thursday, September 1, until December 31, will trigger the demand for public transport as a whole (Metro, bus and train) by around 20%, by encouraging private car users to use collective means of transport.

Regarding a possible overflow of public transport, the minister indicated that there is sufficient capacity to absorb this increase in demand “normally” and that Renfe staff had told her that the first day of operation of the free tickets is being developed ” without any incidents”. With these data, Sánchez stressed that “it is ratified that this measure is positive, not only to help the pockets of the middle and working classes, but to recover that mobility through public transport, which is the most sustainable.” According to calculations made by the Executive, a family of four who use the Madrid Cercanías network to get around could save 650 euros in these four months.

Demand is expected to skyrocket in the second half of September, coinciding with the return of holidays and the start of the school year, so Renfe has asked that those interested take out their season tickets before September 5 to avoid queues. To date, Renfe has already issued 425,000 new tickets for the Cercanías, Media Distancia and AVE network, and 500,000 users have already registered, a necessary procedure to acquire the tickets since they are nominal and non-transferable tickets. The railway company has deployed 1,000 agents in the main stations to help travelers in the process of registering and purchasing these passes.

Possible extension of subscriptions

The validity of the Renfe passes is, in principle, until December 31 but the Ministry of Transport does not rule out extending the term if the circumstances so advise. Minister Sánchez announced this Thursday that the Government will also study expanding fuel subsidies, now set at 20 cents per liter of diesel or gasoline, following the example of France, which has just announced that it is expanding them from 18 to 30 cents per liter. . Transport has also confirmed that they have already started executing on the roads the change from current lighting to LED technology, with lower energy consumption.

To acquire the Cercanías subscription, although it is free, it is necessary to deposit a deposit of 10 euros for each nucleus, and 20 euros for each Conventional Medium Distance service. For the return of the deposit, it is necessary to keep the QR code during the entire period of validity. Payment by card will allow the return of the deposits to be made automatically (once the validity period has ended) fulfilling the conditions, that is, making 16 trips in these four months.

The Avant OSP services (public service obligation) will have a 50% discount for recurring users, which applies to all Avant multi-trip tickets (Card Plus Pass, Card Plus 10 or Card Plus 10-45), which are sold between September 1 and December 31, 2022, with specific conditions of use adapted to the established bonus period. For high-speed, between September 1 and December 31, 2022, new commercial passes are created with conditions similar to the Avant, for high-speed routes in which there are no OSPs and the travel time is less of 100 minutes. These bonds will have a 50% bonus during their validity period. Passes are applied on the Madrid-Palencia routes; Madrid-Zamora; León-Valladolid; León-Palencia; Burgos-Madrid; Burgos-Valladolid; Ourense-Zamora; Palencia-Valladolid; Huesca-Zaragoza; León-Segovia; Segovia-Zamora.

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