Luxembourg makes public transport free to ride

Luxembourg, one of the smallest countries in Europe, has become the first to make public transportation entirely free to use.

This forms part of an overarching effort to stymie car traffic in the country, which experiences some of the worst traffic-based issues on the continent - the less than 1,000sq mi area has a population of almost 614,000, with an additional 214,000 foreign commuters passing through daily. 

Previously, fares for buses, trains and trams were charged at a flat rate of €2. However, these services will now be funded via taxes, meaning a net saving for people not earning as much, as well as being applicable to everyone: citizens, tourists and commuters.

Rethinking commuting

Francois Bausch, Deputy Prime Minister and Mobility Minister of Luxembourg, claims that the government has invested €120mn to augment its rail services in a bid to make them more attractive.


“The system that we developed in the last century cannot function any more,” Bausch said in an article with The Independent. “Everywhere we have congestion problems, the quality of life in urban areas is going down.” 

“If we organise the big urban areas, this will help with climate change.” The decision will undoubtedly assist Luxembourg’s efforts to contribute to the European Green Deal, which sets out an ambitious plan for the continent to become climate-neutral by 2050.

Ahead of the trend

Although Luxembourg is the first EU country to make it entirely free, other states have made similar efforts to increase the popularity of public transportation networks. 

For instance, in 2018, the French city of Dunkirk decided to make its bus service free of charge, with apparently very successful results for the high street and environment.

At the time considered a ‘laboratory’ for the concept of free transport, Dunkirk’s 87,000 citizens have subsequently been able to enjoy a convenient way to work, have fun and take part in community projects.

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