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Luxembourg Hails Results Of Becoming First Country To Make Public Transport Free

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Luxembourg Hails Results Of Becoming First Country To Make Public Transport Free

Luxembourg has hailed 'positive' results after becoming the first country to make public transport free last year, with 10,000 more people using it each day during the working week.

The small European nation officially introduced Mobilité Gratuite (Free Mobility) on 1 March 2020 and - despite the impact of the pandemic - is pleased with the results thus far.

Luxembourg has seen 'positive' results since making public transport free. Credit: PA
Luxembourg has seen 'positive' results since making public transport free. Credit: PA

The first Covid-19 case in the country was detected the night before free transport was introduced, and subsequent lockdown measures affected usage. However, numbers 'skyrocketed' pre-lockdown and last month an average of 40,090 passengers used the tram on work days - which is about 10,000 more than before it was made free.

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"The results are positive despite the fact that with confinement and teleworking, everything is not yet running at 100 percent," Dany Frank, spokeswoman Ministry of Mobility and Public Works, told LADbible.

"Just before the March 2020 lockdown, the numbers skyrocketed.

"We had records for the tram between March 1 and March 10 at 32,000 passengers per day, then they dropped to 2,000 per day during lockdown and then gradually recovered with already around 19,000 in October.

"Now we are at daily peaks of 45,000 passengers."

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It is hoped that public transport usage will increase by 20 percent by 2025. Credit: PA
It is hoped that public transport usage will increase by 20 percent by 2025. Credit: PA

There were various motivations behind the move, one of which was to help leave more cash in the pockets of low-earners. The annual revenue generated from ticket sales before Mobilité Gratuite was €41 million (£35.5 million), which only covered around eight percent of the costs of running the transport network. This shortfall shortfall is now being covered by taxes, with the burden shouldered by wealthier citizens.

The move was also designed to reduce car congestion, as Luxembourg has more cars per person than any other country in Europe and is consequently plagued by heavy traffic. It is expected that public transport usage in Luxembourg will have increased by 20 percent by 2025.

Before then, it seems you lot would like to see your home nations follow Luxembourg's example.

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A LADbible poll found that more than 80 percent of people would like to see free public transport introduced in their country, with a similar figure stating that they'd use public transport more regularly if it was free.


Many people weren't convinced that the system could work in larger countries though, with others pointing to the fact that public transport is paid for by the public in one way or another.

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One person commented: "Yes obviously we'd all love free things but that doesn't mean it should or can happen. A country the size of Sheffield vs the UK.... Our trains are already crowded. It would be practically impossible to get one if it was all free. And we'd all being paying a load more in taxes."

Another agreed: "The current infrastructure is inadequate for the people that are already paying for it. Making it free for everyone will add even more strain.

"Nothing is free in this world and it doesn't matter how you word it, we'll be paying for it regardless."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Transport, Interesting

Jake Massey
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