Luxembourg is first country in world to make public transport free

Luxembourg is first country in world to make public transport free
Copyright Government of Luxembourg
By Chris HarrisJack Parrock
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Next stop, huge debt? Luxembourg becomes the first country in the world to scrap charges for using public transport.


Luxembourg is Europe's richest country, where the car is king. But, on Sunday, it will become the first in the world to make public transport free.

There are already cities that have introduced such measures—Tallinn—but Luxembourg is the only to do it for a whole country.

It will apply to all trams, trains and buses and—unlike Estonia's capital—will be available to tourists as well as residents.

“The introduction of free public transport is an important social measure," said Luxembourg's minister for mobility, François Bausch.

"You could describe it as the social icing on the cake of the global strategy for a multimodal revolution. Apart from this, we want to acknowledge all those people who have already made the choice in favour of public transport.”

Around 47% of business trips are made by car in Luxembourg and the country is known for its frequent traffic jams.

Buses are only used for 32% of trips to work, ahead of trains at 19%. By way of comparison, in Paris, almost 70% of workers use public transport.

"We have invested for years in the construction of roads," said Blanche Weber, president of Luxembourg's Ecological Movement.

"The government is making efforts, but there is a huge delay in terms of the development of public transport."

The first section of a tram opened at the end of 2017 but works are ongoing to link the south of the capital and the airport in the north.

Your view | What do you think? Should this be replicated elsewhere in Europe? Is it a practical and cost-effective way of tackling climate change? Send me your views:

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