From 1st March 2020 Luxembourg will become the first country to make all public transport free: no more tickets on trains, trams and buses for residents, cross-border workers and tourists. An initiative about sustainability, urbanisation and social inclusion.
What is the initiative about?
The state of Luxembourg will prioritise the environment and end traffic congestion from 1st of March 2020 with its new initiative: bus, tram and train journeys will be free of charge (except for first class). The move will be beneficial not only for the 602000 residents, but also for the 175000 cross-border workers and the 1.2 million annual tourists. Luxembourg is not the first implementing this solution: for example, the town of Tallinn (Estonia) introduced free public transport in 2013 with the aim to reduce congestion and to support low earners.
What about social inclusion?
The free public transport initiative is not only about sustainability and urbanization, it is also a social measure: Luxembourg, has one of the highest average annual salaries among the OECD countries, but 13% of workers and 9.3% of pensioners are at risk of poverty. This initiative is part of a broader social legislation the government is willing to introduce, like raising minimum wage, adjusting pension and increasing financial aid for higher education.
Who will choose the public transport over a car?
For sure persuading car drivers to leave their vehicle at home and jump on board of public transports will be a difficult challenge: many people in fact perceive it as inconvenient. That's why the government plans to invest in transport infrastructure with Modu 2.0, its new mobility strategy. The idea is to improve public transports through modernisation and improved connections to increase network capacity by 20% by 2025.