Friday, 14 December, 2018

Luxembourg to make public transport FREE for everyone across the whole country

Buses in Luxembourg Image Buses trains and trams are set to be free in Luxembourg from next summer
Kenny Thornton | 07 December, 2018, 18:00

The newly re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel plans to waive fares and make the country the first in the world to offer free public transport, the Guardian reports.

The tiny country of just 2590 square kilometres is home to about 110,000 people, but an additional 400,000 travel to the city for work.

Travel of up to two hours now costs €2 (NZ$3.30), while an all-day pass costs €4.

Mr Bettel was sworn in for a second term on Wednesday, having promised to prioritise environmental issues. On average, it's estimated that drivers in Luxembourg City spend an average of 33 hours in traffic in 2017.

It's understood abolishing all public transport fares will save the government money on the collection and processing of fares.

Traffic congestion is a major problem in Luxembourg, which receives approximately 170,000 cross-border commuters from neighboring France, Belgium and Germany on a daily basis.

Luxembourg
Image Fares are currently capped at two euros for two hours of travel

A free shuttle service is provided for secondary school students between their homes and school and earlier this year free transport was introduced for under 20s.

The free fares plan is the latest step in encouraging citizens to use public transport. For example, a decision still needs to be taken on what to do with first- and second-class compartments on trains.

Annually, Luxembourg's national public transport system costs about €1bn to run.

Bettel only just scraped back into government in the recent election.

Apart from making public transportation free for all, the new government coalition led by Bettel, which consists of the liberal Democratic Party, the leftist Socialist Workers' party, and the Greens, is also considering legalising cannabis for recreational use.

The CSV, however, lost seats, while the Greens gained three seats.

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