Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free

Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free

Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to scrap fees on all forms of public transport. As it stands fares are capped at €2 for up to two hours of travel - for a country the size of Oxfordshire, this covers just about every journey.

The tiny European Union country of Luxembourg is seeking to make travel free on its trains, trams and buses as part of efforts to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

Part of the cost for the initiative will be footed by removing a tax break for commuters.

However, not everyone is convinced about the historic change.

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 country is home to about 110,000 people, but a further 400,000 commute into the city to work. A recent study cited by The Guardian showed that drivers in the capital spent an average of 33 hours in traffic snarl-ups in 2016.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel promised to prioritise the environment.

The country as a whole has about 200,000 residents and almost 200,000 people from neighbouring countries cross the border each day to work in Luxembourg.

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.

Now, from the start of 2020 all tickets will be abolished, saving on the collection of fares and the policing of ticket purchases.

The finer details are yet to be determined, including what do about first and second- class carriages on trains. The result gave the coalition 31 seats in the 60-seat chamber.

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