Luxembourg is set to become the world’s first country to make all of its public transportation free. Luxembourg City, the capital of the small Grand Duchy, suffers from some of the worst traffic congestion in the world.
The newly re-elected prime minister Xavier Bettel and the coalition government have announced that they will lift all fares on trains, trams and buses next summer. Taking aim at long commutes and the country’s carbon footprint, the new move hopes to alleviate some of the worst traffic congestion in the world.
It is home to about 110,000 people, but a further 400,000 commute into the city to work. A study suggested that drivers in the capital spent an average of 33 hours in traffic jams in 2016.
While the country as a whole has 600,000 inhabitants, nearly 200,000 people living in France, Belgium and Germany cross the border every day to work in Luxembourg.
Not every commuter is convinced about the idea. Claude Moyen, a teacher who travels by train to his school in the town of Diekirch every day, said he feared the quality of journeys might suffer, and added: “I’m not sure if making public transport free here in Luxembourg will take more people out of their cars.”
Luxembourg has increasingly shown a progressive attitude to transport. This summer, the government brought in free transport for every child and young person under the age of 20. Secondary school students can use free shuttles between their institution and their home. Commuters need only pay €2 (£1.78) for up to two hours of travel, which in a country of just 999 sq miles (2,590 sq km) covers almost all journeys.
Now, from the start of 2020 all tickets will be abolished, saving on the collection of fares and the policing of ticket purchases.
Simon Calder ”Luxembourg Set to Make All Public transport free”
Independent. December 2018
Eric Baldwin ”Luxembourg Becomes First Country to Make All Public Transit Free” Archdaily. 24 December 2018