All public transport to be free in Luxembourg in a world first

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Luxembourg is set to make public transport free by 2019

The small western European country of Luxembourg is set to become the world's first nation to make all public transport free, as part of a major environmentalism drive.

Grand Duchy Prime Minister Xavier Bettel introduced the plan yesterday, December 5, when he took office for his second term, as reported by The Guardian on the same day.

Luxembourg's capital is home to about 110,000 people while a further 400,000 commute into the city to work daily.

Travel of up to two hours now costs €2 (NZ$3.30), while an all-day pass costs €4.

Over the summer, free transport was introduced for every child and young person under the age of 20. 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.

As well as free public transport from 2020, Bettel had also promised to invest more in public services and to legalise recreational use of cannabis.

Luxembourg Luxembourg public transport free Luxembourg grand dutchy free publisc transport to solve traffic Luxembourg coalition government indian express indian express news
The Old Quarter is a UNESCO world heritage site

Secondary school students can use free shuttles between their institution and their home.

While the country as a whole has 600,000 inhabitants, almost 200,000 people living in France, Belgium and Germany cross the border every day to work in Luxembourg.

According to The Independent, Luxembourg's transport system costs close to €1bn per year to operate, but as a result of the concessionary offers, fares amount to only €30m annually. The move is aimed at alleviating traffic congestion and furthering Bettel's campaign vow of being environment-friendly.

The finer details are yet to be determined, including what do about first and second- class carriages on trains.

Mr Bettel only narrowly renewed his five-year premiership by a one-seat majority in the October election. It now holds 31 seats in the 60-seat chamber-12 for Bettel's Democratic Party, 10 for the Socialist Workers' Party and nine for the Greens.

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