LUXEMBOURG – Luxembourg is committed to becoming the world’s first nation to provide free public transportation for all.
The tiny state ensconced between France, Belgium and Germany looks set to dominate the global decarbonization agenda after its governing Democratic Party, in coalition with the Socialist Workers’ Party and The Greens, announced it was planning to provide free transport by early 2020.
This measure belongs to a package of innovative government proposals which include legalizing cannabis, raising minimum wages, two new public holidays and driving environmental issues presented by the ruling Democratic Party’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, the capital’s former mayor who succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker in December 2013.
The PM had pledged to focus on the environment during his recent re-election campaign.
Luxembourg has a population of 600,000 people, of which nearly one in four live in its capital. Another 200,000 people from neighboring countries cross the border everyday to work in Luxembourg.
A 2016 study suggested drivers in Luxembourg city spent 33 hours stuck in traffic jams that year.
The green initiative was being rolled out gradually. Last summer, the government launched free transport for children and youths under 20 years old.
Commuters pay 2 euros ($2.28) for up to two hours of travel, which goes a long way in such a small country.
If the government’s plans go ahead, all train, bus and tram tickets will be free of charge by early 2020.
This initiative will position Luxembourg as a model nation for the Paris Agreement signatories as a reminder of their commitment to reduce their carbon footprint.