Long-distance buses that are part of Spain’s concession network will be completely free for the entirety of 2023.
The new measure was confirmed on Tuesday in the Congress of Deputies by Raquel Sánchez, the Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda and is part of the government's initiative to reduce polluting emissions in Spain’s cities and towns, whilst also easing the worry caused by rising inflation.
Since September 1, regular commuters have been able to use the state-owned bus routes at a 50 percent reduction. This measure was to come to an end on December 31 2022 but instead, the Spanish government has gone one step further by making the journeys free. So as of January 1, 2023, passengers will be able to get passes or tickets for 10, 20 or 30 trips, completely free of charge.
The state concession network of buses operates on many long-distance routes including Madrid to Segovia, Guadalajara to Madrid, Teruel to Barcelona, Gijón to León, Zaragoza to Castellón de la Plana, Jaén to Madrid, Irún to Tui and Logroño to Soria.
According to data from the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, at the beginning of this year, the network had a total of 4,088 stops allocated among 2,399 cities belonging to 1,837 municipalities in Spain.
This new measure will complement the one already announced for the Cercanías and Media Distancia trains, which will also be free next year for frequent travellers, although passengers will still have to pay a 20 euro deposit which will be refunded if all of their passes are used.
Spanish rail operators ran into a few problems from the start with the system, with some passengers booking several seats on different trains and forgetting to cancel them. Obviously, this led to genuine travellers being unable to secure a ticket for their regular train journey, but authorities have now implemented a series of measures to help reduce the impact.
According to the Ministry, the new free train initiative will save more than 350 million litres of gasoline and prevent the emission of one million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2023. It also estimates that a family of four will on average, save between 1,800 and 3,000 euros.
Image Credit: Alsa
November 23, 2022
November 18, 2022
November 16, 2022