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EXPLAINED: How to get tickets for Spain's long-distance free buses in 2023

The Local Spain
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EXPLAINED: How to get tickets for Spain's long-distance free buses in 2023
Buses will be free in Spain during 2023. Photo: Kk70088 / Wikimedia Commons

The Spanish government has announced that many long-distance buses will go from being half-price to free in 2023. Here's everything you need to know, from the 42 lines which will be free to how to apply for the tickets.


Passengers who travel on long-distance buses will be able to benefit from free tickets throughout 2023, Spain's Transport and Mobility Raquel Sánchez confirmed on Tuesday. 


Tickets for some bus routes already have a 50 percent discount for frequent passengers, a measure which came into force on September 1st, 2022.

The scheme was originally supposed to run until the end of December but has now been extended throughout 2023 with the addition of many tickets being completely free.

This is similar to what Spain is currently offering on certain multi-journey train tickets, which frequent passengers have also been able to benefit from since September 2022.


The idea is to help people in Spain deal with the rise in the cost of living and also save on fuel. 


Which routes will be free?

While all long-distance bus routes won’t be free, the Ministry of Transport and Mobility has said that it will apply to buses that it pays for.

These routes have stops in 2,399 neighbourhoods, spread over 1,837 municipalities throughout the country.

The list of Spain's free long-distance buses in 2023 is as follows:

Huesca – Lleida
Madrid – Segovia 
Madrid – Salamanca – Vigo
Tamarite de Litera (Huesca) – Lleida
Madrid – Fuente del Arco – Monasterio – Badalona
Teruel – Barcelona
Zaragoza - Caspe - Tarragona - Castellón de la Plana
Fraga - Binéfar - Mequinenza (Huesca) - Lleida
Madrid – Miajadas – Don Benito
Madrid – Jaraíz de la Vera
Madrid – Zaorejas (Guadalajara) –Sigüenza (Guadalajara)
Madrid – Casas Ibáñez – Las Lagunas de Ruidera
Madrid – Piedrabuena – Casas Ibáñez – Las Lagunas de Ruidera
Madrid – Jaén
Madrid - Toledo
Logroño – Soria – Madrid 
Murcia - Cartagena - Granada - Málaga -Seville - Córdoba 
Viella and Lleida
Lleida - Zaragoza- Molina de Aragón
Irún - Tuy
Burgos – Poza de la Sal – Frías – Briviesca – Padrones - Logroño
Madrid – Granada – Almunecar
Madrid – Zaragoza – Barcelona
Santander – Bilbao – Barcelona 
Alicante – Murcia
Salamanca – León – Santander
Seville - Málaga - Montgat - Manresa
Irun – Madrid
Santiago de Compostela - Gijón - Irún - Barcelona
Madrid – León – Gijón
Seville – Salamanca – Irún
Ferrol (A Coruña) – Algeciras (Cádiz)
Murcia - Almería
Soria – Zaragoza
Madrid – Almería
Almería - Cartagena 
Alicante – Cartagena – Murcia

How to claim free tickets

To benefit from this offer, you will have to purchase multi-journey tickets of 10, 20 or 30 journeys (those that were already subsidised) and provide a deposit of €20.  

This deposit was already necessary for medium and long-distance Cercanías and Rodalies train services and will be returned if you use a certain amount of journeys – a total of 16 in three months on the trains.  

It’s not yet clear how many journeys you will have to make during 2023 in order to get the deposit back.  

Saving 350 million litres of fuel 

The minister has revealed that this could mean a saving of more than 350 million litres of petrol, which could prevent the emission of one million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere during 2023.  

The Ministry has also calculated that a family of four will save on average between €1,800 and €3,000 per year if they take advantage of these free journeys.  

It must be noted, however, that to fully subsidise the bus lines, there will be a hefty cost to the government. In 2021 the cost of maintaining these lines was €158 ​​million.  



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