Free annual travel passes are being given away to transgender people, in an attempt to raise awareness of transphobia among the public.

Madrid’s metro has announced that thirty-eight free passes will be handed out to trans travellers, to promote the integration of transgender people across the Spanish city.

“Madrid metro considers it a priority to raise awareness among the public so as to avoid any type of discrimination and prejudice,” the metro’s website reads.

Most reactions to the news have been positive, with one Twitter user writing, “What a beautiful initiative! Everything that improves human relations is welcome!”

However, the move has also attracted criticism, with another user tweeting: “Madrid Metro is giving metro passes to transsexuals. So they’re discriminating against those who aren’t…”

Another critic accused Madrid’s mayor – the left-wing Manuela Carmena – of discrimination, despite the metro being under the jurisdiction of the Community of Madrid which is run by the right-wing Popular Party.

“Whoever it is who’s giving free metro passes to transsexuals – Carmena or Cifuentes – it’s intolerable discrimination,” the tweet read.

The Madrid metro and the non-profit Spanish Association of Transsexuals (AET) – which campaigns for LGBT equality – joined forces to bring the scheme to the city.

It isn’t clear how recipients of the passes will be chosen, with the metro simply saying that they will be given to people “experiencing social exclusion”.

There have been a number of suspected hate crimes against transsexual, gay and lesbian people in Madrid this month, with one trans woman being abused and knocked unconscious.