One of the most widespread beliefs in Spanish society is that high speed is expensive. It is a perception that has been maintained over the years and that, according to different economic agents, justifies the fact that the AVE network is so underused.
This Friday the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has put numbers on these perceptions. According to the “Household Panel” prepared by the agency, 40% of the train passengers surveyed were dissatisfied with the economic cost of the ticket. 11% of Spaniards, according to the organization, used the high-speed service at least once in the last year.
Despite the fact that almost half of the respondents consider that the AVE is expensive, a high percentage approve of the service provided by high-speed trains. 79.7% of the users were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the services received. High speed, in fact, is the service best valued by train users.
By contrast, the survey of the CNMC reflects that the Cercanías and medium distance services can be improved in the opinion of the citizens. Both were ranked as the mobility benefits with the lowest degree of satisfaction, 53.7% and 49.2%, respectively. Lastly, conventional long distance registered 55.8% of satisfied users in the CNMC barometer.
Regarding the frequency of trains, commuters were the most dissatisfied (25%) followed by conventional medium and long distance users (22%). AVE and Avant registered figures below 15%.
It was also the passengers of the conventional medium distance who were the most critical with the time of the trips (24% dissatisfied) together with those of the conventional long distance (22%). Regarding the punctuality of the convoys, the commuter trains and the conventional medium distance were those that caused the greatest dissatisfaction among users, 22% and 19% respectively.