Everything you need to know about free and discounted transportation
From September 1, Rodalies tickets will be free and most of multi-journey tickets in Barcelona Metropolitan Area will have a discount
From September 1st –and for four months– Renfe suburban train tickets will be free and most of the most common multi-journey tickets in Catalonia will be reduced to half price. The aim is to help citizens overcome price increases resulting from the war in Ukraine and at the same time promote public transport to improve sustainability and energy independence. Here is a Q&A explaining everything you need to know about how these discounts work.
When can the new season tickets be purchased?
They have been available since August 24 and from September 1 Renfe will no longer sell conventional tickets for four months. The system will operate during this time with special passes for each area of commuter trains. Only single-trip tickets or one-way tickets will remain on sale and without changes to current fares.
Do I have to pay anything?
Yes, a deposit. To purchase the free tickets, users will have to pay a €10 deposit for Rodalies tickets, which will be returned at the end of these four months, provided they can prove they have made a minimum of 16 trips during the four months. The same applies to medium distance trains, but in this case the deposit will be €20.
What happens if Rodalies journeys are combined with other means of transport such as bus or metro?
Users who want and need to buy T-Usuals or T-Casuals to travel on Rodalies will now be able to switch to Renfe's Bonotren, which will be free, and buy only one-zone tickets (cheaper) to travel within the city. For example, a person who lives in Mataró but works every day in Barcelona and has a T-Casual ticket (valid for ten trips) will save €30.50 it costs, but instead will have to pay €7.95 for a single zone ticket if they want to use other means of transport within the city.
What other discounts does the measure establish?
Avant OSP services will offer a 50% discount to passengers who use it regularly with multi-journey tickets (Tarjeta Plus, Tarjeta Plus 10 or Tarjeta Plus 10-45). Those who purchased tickets before the discounts came into force may ask for a refund. The price of up to 13 high-speed (AVE) journeys in which the travel time does not exceed 100 minutes will also be halved. These discounts, however, basically affect internal routes in Castilla y León, connections with Madrid from Palencia, Zamora and Burgos and other routes in Valladolid and Zaragoza.
What economic impact will this measure have?
The Ministry of Transport will allocate over €201m to compensate for the discounts applied. The money will come out of an extraordinary credit and will be given to Renfe as income at the end of the discount period, on December 31.
How will it affect the Catalan transport system?
Beyond the fact that users of Rodalies will no longer pay for the service, the transfer of passengers from one operator to another as a result of the rebate could end up generating a hole in the Metropolitan Transport Authority's (ATM) accounts which Catalan administrations already estimate at between €45m and €50m.
Other integrated tickets
What are the prices for metropolitan tickets?
Between September and December, the cost of T-Usual (monthly tickets) and T-Jove (quarterly ticket for the under 25s) will be reduced by 50% and the T-Casual (valid for 10 journeys), will cost 30% less. Tickets for single-parent or large families, the unemployed and the Berguedà and Ripollès packs will also be halved. This means the cost of a one-zone T-Usual will go from €40 to €20, a two-zone ticket will be under €27, and the six-zone will cost under €57 (see graph). The T-Jove for one and two zones, the most used by students, will only cost €40 and €52.60 respectively, and the T-Casual will cost under €8 for one zone and under €16 if travelling in two zones. In the case of the metropolitan area, the Barcelona Metropolitan Authority has also agreed to cut the price of the T-4 pink card (for pensioners) by half, which will go from €4 to €2. Tickets designed for tourists or for very infrequent use (T-Familiar, the T-Grup or T-Dia) are excluded. There will also be no discounts on the company's own tickets.
How to buy these discounted tickets?
As of September 1st, vending machines will already serve the tickets with discounted prices. Therefore, the user will not have to make any changes to his or her purchase method.
How long do I have to use these new tickets?
As the discount is ephemeral – it lasts only four months according to the royal decree – the new tickets will automatically expire on January 15
What happens if I have already bought several 'expensive' cards?
The ATM proposes that forward-thinking users who had bought their cards for the whole year keep unused cards and may exchange them at any ATM office for cards which are valid during 2023, so as not to have to buy new ones.