Spain will make public long-distance buses free to use in 2023

By Carla Giaume / Updated: 13 Dec 2022

The Spanish government announced in November 2022 that it will extend a subsidy introduced for train passengers in September to public, long-distance buses. The current subsidy measure, which will allow those with multi-trip tickets to travel by train for free in 2023, will now be extended to state-owned long-distance bus lines. Therefore, regular passengers holding multiple-ticket passes will be able to travel for free on all long-distance public transport in the country.

Starting from 1 January 2023, users holding passes (e.g. annual, monthly or weekly passes) or tickets for 10, 20 or 30 trips will be able to travel for free on all state-owned bus lines, such as those connecting Madrid to Segovia, Guadalajara to Madrid, Teruel to Barcelona, ​​Zaragoza to Castellón de la Plana, Jaén to Madrid, Gijón to León, Irún to Tui and Logroño to Soria. 

The existing measure, which has been in effect since September 2022, already provided a 50% discount on bus trips. The new measure represents a fast upgrade of the current policy, through which the Spanish authorities are aiming to further encourage local commuters to move by public transport over long distances. This will help to mitigate the impact of increasing inflation, as well as contributing to making public transport more attractive and to reducing CO2 emissions through the increase of more sustainable and greener transport modes. 

According to data from the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, in 2022 the public road transport network consisted of over 4,000 stops distributed among around 2,400 towns of 1,837 municipalities on the Spanish territory. The total length of these lines was nearly 69,000 km.

The special measure implemented this summer – that which provides free long-distance train rides – is expected to prevent around 1 million tons of CO2 in 2023. Similarly, the Spanish Ministry of Transport expects that this estimate will grow with the addition of free public bus rides.

Original article published by on 24 November 2022.

Photo Credit: © Christine Bird - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.

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Collective passenger transport