September begins, with the post-vacation syndrome, with the ‘back to school’, to the routine, to work, to rush hours. Realities that are repeated year after year. But this September there are also differences, such as the reduction in the price of public transport passes, which is different depending on each Autonomous Community, and which represents a small relief from the inflationary spiral, at least until December 31.
All energy saving and transport measures approved by the Government
With the new month, public transport discounts came into force, such as the free bonuses to travel on Cercanías and Media Distancia trains that the Government approved in the Council of Ministers on August 1, with the aim, also, of “fostering the public transport and reduce the use of private vehicles” and thus promote energy savings. It is not the only measure, because the Executive also launched a general reduction of 30% in the price paid by users for transport, which the regional governments could extend up to 50%.
Some measures that have not escaped the political mud. This has happened in the Community of Madrid. Its president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, after having branded the Executive’s proposal as “chequevotos” and having seen how her Minister of Transport and Structures, David Pérez, described it as a “temporary patch”, decided to extend the discount on monthly subscriptions until fifty%.
“Economically it means a lot to me”
The first hours of the transport discounts were marked by the doubts of the travelers and by the queues to buy the discount tickets. Inside the wagons there were almost no differences with respect to other working days, but the same did not happen at the stations. elDiario.es toured some of the main Cercanías stations in Madrid to find out the opinions of travelers about the discounts.
In Atocha, Rafael decided on Thursday to use up the last tickets of his 10-trip voucher, to prevent them from expiring. “The price of this one is not changed for me,” he lamented. “In total, I am going to save about one hundred and twenty euros”, he once bought the tickets at a discount. “It’s a good idea, at least it will benefit many people, there are many who are having a bad time,” he said.
At the same station, Alba was already traveling for free on Cercanías. He uses it twice a week to commute to work. “Economically, it means a lot to me. Normally I drive halfway and then I take the metro”.
Regarding traveling by car, a Renfe worker from southern Madrid, who preferred not to reveal her name, demanded more discounts for those who go by car. “I think action should also be taken on fuel and fuel prices. That each one has the possibility to choose what they want to travel with, if with transportation [público] or in their own car, because there are people who cannot travel directly by public transport and cannot get to their job”.
“I had the subscription already loaded from before, but I am going to reload it as soon as I can. I still have the youth pass, so it only changes me from twenty to 14 euros, but financially, it means a lot of improvement”, explained Víctor while waiting for the train to go to his work in Getafe.
Sebastián, on the other hand, was oblivious to the price reduction for those under 26 years of age. Every day he takes the Renfe to go to work and “to go anywhere”, he added.
Not all Madrid Cercanías stations experienced the same first hours of transport discounts. Queues in Atocha, tranquility in Recoletos and surprise of some travelers in Nuevos Ministerios, because the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, went down to the Cercanías station -located just a few meters from her office- to supervise the start-up of the subscriptions Renfe free. She did it with a trip to Atocha.
“There are people who were not regular Renfe users who are now getting excited. But, in the end, the one who goes to work, to see the family, is usually the same. The only thing, of course, is that now you have the advantage of the monthly savings you get”, explained another Cercanías worker regarding the change in the number of people from August to September, who also preferred not to reveal his name. “Any help for the mileuristas is good,” he summed up.
In general, in the early days of the discounts, a large part of the users questioned did not know from which administration the initiative originated. “But, come on, a little more [de rebaja] It doesn’t matter, if they agree, it’s good. Or, better, that they go against it and thus lower it a little more, that benefits us, ”commented a Renfe user jokingly.