Free Rides… Almost!
If one wants to save USD 110 per year, s/he can take the citizenship of Luxembourg! The Government of the tiny European country, surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany, has made all public transport free! The Transport Ministry has confirmed the news, saying in a statement that the move has been made in order to cope with traffic jams. Interestingly, Luxembourg is the first country in the world to make public transport free.
The Ministry expressed hope that the move would discourage people to use their personal cars. And if commuters avail public transport, then the traffic jams would automatically reduce. As per the statement, a person could save USD 110 per year by using the public transport system…
Making an announcement in this regard earlier this week, Mobility Minister François Bausch said: “The Government wants Luxembourg to become a laboratory for mobility.” He also said that the Government made this decision, keeping in mind the fact that the population might increase by 40% in the next two decades. The Minister stressed that although the cost of the project would be EUR 41 million (or USD 44 million) in lost ticket fares, it would be shouldered by the taxpayers. “Of course, just because I call it free transport doesn’t mean nobody pays,” stressed Bausch.
As the total cost of running the service is more than EUR 500 million, the Government sees the lost fare revenue as relatively small. The minister assured that transport staff would not lose their jobs. Instead, they would have to spend less time in checking tickets. However, it is necessary to pay the same fare as before in some cases. For example, the first class travels in trains and night bus services have not been made free…
According to a survey carried out in 2018, most of the people use personal cars while going to offices in Luxembourg. Only 32% of the commuters ride buses, and 19% travel on trains in the Western European country with a population of only 614,000. As per the survey, Luxembourg has more cars per 1,000 people than anywhere else in the European Union. The new move aims to have 20% more passengers on public transport within five years, apart from sensitising Luxembourgers to their country’s environmental problems.
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