Luxembourg becomes first country to provide free public transport

Image Source: Ryhor Bruyeu/Alamy

In a great move to reduce traffic congestion, Luxembourg has become the first country in the world to provide free public transport. Its transport ministry confirmed that it was first time ever that the decision to offer free public transport has encompassed an entire nation.

Travel on buses, trams, and trains will be free for all from 29th February 2020 and no tickets will be required to use such services. The only services exempt from the free transport system are first-class travel tickets on trains and some specific night bus services.

This entire initiative will cost the government a total of 41 million euros and will help citizens save 100 euros each year in transport costs.

The transport minister, François Bausch said, “Systematic and continuous investment is a sine qua non-essential condition for promoting the attractiveness of public transport.”

Luxembourg has terrible traffic problems and most people use their cars to travel. In fact, this tiny nation has more cars per 1,000 people than anywhere else in the entire European Union.

According to a survey conducted in 2018, buses are used in a mere 32 per cent trips to work whereas trains account for 19 per cent. Most people use their private cars: cars accounted for a whopping 71 per cent of leisure travel and 47 per cent of business travel.

In stark contrast, 69 per cent of the workforce in Paris use public transport.

One of the smallest countries in Europe, Luxembourg has a population of a mere 614,000, most of whom work out of the nation and travel to neighbouring nations such as Germany and France to work.

Will this initiative necessarily result in reduced traffic congestion? Should other countries follow the footsteps of Luxembourg in providing free public transport? Do let us know your views in the comments section below.

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