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Madrid and Barcelona Win From Spain’s Free Train Travel Plan

The country will issue season tickets and offer other discounts to help with the cost of living and promote sustainable travel.

Franca railway station in Barcelona, July 15.

Franca railway station in Barcelona, July 15.

Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Spain will become the latest European country to make a large part of its public transit network free as part of a push to promote cleaner transportation. It also has another clear objective: helping citizens to reduce fuel consumption as energy prices soar.

Following an announcement this week from the national government, Spain will offer season tickets for suburban and regional trains, which host roughly 48 million journeys per month. The program, which will run between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, seeks to promote rail travel as “a safer, more reliable, comfortable, economical and sustainable means of transport than the private car,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.