Luxembourg Has Officially Made All Public Transport Free
Luxembourg has become the first country in the world to offer a free public transport system, in a bid to reduce congestion from car traffic.
The government in the Grand Duchy has put the plans in place, meaning that all trains, trams and buses are now free to be used.
François Bausch, the minister of mobility and public works, describes the move as: "The social icing on the cake of the global strategy for a multimodal revolution."
He announced that free travel would commence on 29 February, not 1 March as previously reported.
From midnight tonight Luxembourg will become the first country in the world to have entirely FREE public transport. And one of the reasons given is to stop the deepening gap between the rich and the poor. #goodjobluxembourg
- Maryvallely (@Maryvallely1) February 28, 2020
According to The Independent, the last opportunity to pay the €2 (£1.70) flat fare was on bus number 6 from the Pletzer stop in the suburb of Helfenterbruck, at 11.59pm last night. You'd have just waited for the next one, wouldn't you?!
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Alternatively, you could have walked 200 metres to the next stop which was departing at midnight.
Speaking to The Independent, a spokesperson for the Luxembourg government said: "As 2020 is a leap year and as the concerts and celebrations are happening tomorrow, it has been decided to make public transport free as from tomorrow, in order to allow everybody to join the public events free of charge."
But how is this possible? Well part of the cost will apparently be covered by removing a tax break for commuters, and will encourage a shift away from the use of private cars in Luxembourg, where traffic congestion is a serious problem, especially in the city centres.
However, not everyone is convinced about the historic change. Claude Moyen, a teacher who travels by train to his school in the town of Diekirch every day, told The Independent he feared the quality of journeys might suffer.
"I'm not sure if making public transport free here in Luxembourg will take more people out of their cars," he said.
Featured Image Credit: PA