From 1 September, passengers travelling on various rail routes run by state-owned operator Renfe can do so for nothing.
Multi-ticket journeys on commuter lines (Cercanías and Rodalies) and regional lines of less than 300km (Media Distancia) - accounting for short and medium journeys - will be complimentary until the end of the year.
Long-distance journeys and single tickets are not included - meaning the measure is aimed at season ticket holders, rather than tourists.
“This measure encourages to the maximum the use of this type of collective public transport to guarantee the needed daily commute with a safe, reliable, comfortable, economic and sustainable means of transportation, amid the extraordinary circumstances of the steady increase of energy and fuel prices,” said the Spanish Ministry of Transport in a statement.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez said the move is in response to the cost of living crisis.
“I am fully aware of the daily difficulties that most people face,” he said. “I know that your salary is getting less and less, that it is difficult to make ends meet, and that your shopping basket is becoming more and more expensive.
“I am going to work my skin to the bone to defend the working class of this country.”
The Spanish government has also lowered fares on state-owned public transport by 50 per cent.
It follows the news that Deutsche Bahn (DB), which runs most trains in Germany, has launched a ticket costing €9 (£7.70) that gives a full month of travel in June, July or August. The average cost per day is just 25p.
“Regional Express” trains – which typically link towns and cities on runs of 50-100 miles – are covered. So are all local services, including S-Bahn and U-Bahn metro trains, as well as trams and buses.
There is no limit to the number of tickets and no restrictions on journeys – except that Intercity expresses classed as IC, ICE and EuroCity are not included. Even so, any two stations within Germany can be connected with the deal.
The move, which is being supported by the German government, is aimed at luring local travellers back to the railway – but it is equally open to international visitors.
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