Luxembourg eyes free public transport


In a bid to do away with its traffic woes and keep up with its promises of social welfare, the Xavier Bettel-led government in Luxembourg has chose to provide free public transport to commuters.

Fares on trains, trams and buses will be lifted next summer under the plans of the re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister on Wednesday.

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.

And for older Luxembourgers, commuters get two hours of travel for just €2 ($2.27).

European Union's wealthiest country, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has made history after announcing his plans to make public transport free in 2020.

The coalition government, which comprises Bettel's centrist Democratic party, the left-wing Socialist Workers' Party and the Greens, had campaigned on a promise of increased environmental protection and improved public services.

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

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

Other city centres, such as Tallinn in Estonia and France's Dunkirk, already offer free public transport in a bid to reduce congestion.

The national transport system now costs around €1billion to operate, yet fares only amount to €30million annually, The Independent reports. For example, a decision still needs to be taken on what to do with first- and second-class compartments on trains.

The new government had also pledged to legalize cannabis, a matter that has sparked public debate.