Luxembourg eyes free public transport

Lamar Ellis
December 7, 2018

They have become the first country to make public transport entirely free throughout the country.

Grand Duchy Prime Minister Xavier Bettel introduced the plan yesterday, December 5, when he took office for his second term, as reported by The Guardian on the same day.

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.

Currently, fares are capped at €2 for anything up to two hours of travel, which covers most journeys in the 2,585 km² nation. The introduction of free public transport is hoped to reduce this, by encouraging a shift away from commuting in private in private cars.

The policy will save the government money on the collection and policing of ticket purchases.

And secondary school students are provided with free shuttles between their places of study and their home.

Luxembourg to make public transport free for all

Some places around the world offer free transport in a bid to reduce traffic congestion, and in some United States counties the bus system is free, but no other nation has eliminated fares from its entire transport network.

Annually, Luxembourg's national public transport system costs about €1bn to run. A decision has yet to be taken on what to do about first- and second-class compartments on trains.

Mr Bettel only narrowly renewed his five-year premiership by a one-seat majority in the October election.

Other than their transport promise, Bettel's new coalition government says it is also considering the legalization of cannabis and the introduction of two new public holidays, including "Europe Day" on May 9.

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

His Democratic Party will form a government with the left-wing Socialist Workers' party and the Greens.

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