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In World First, Luxembourg to Make All Public Transportation Free
Luxembourg is about to become the world's first country to make all its public transportation free under the new government's efforts to curb traffic congestion and benefit the environment, The Guardian reported.
The initiative, which will end all fares for trains, trams and buses by summer 2019, is a plan under the environmentally minded coalition government headed by Xavier Bettel, who was reappointed as prime minister on Wednesday.
The Grand Duchy has a well-developed public transport system with a national bus and rail network that connects the most important cities and towns in the country.
Luxembourg is the European Union's wealthiest but second smallest member state, with a population of roughly 600,000 people. At 998 square miles, the tiny country is smaller than Rhode Island.
However, Luxembourg City suffers from chronic traffic congestion. About 400,000 people—including people from the bordering countries of France, Belgium and Germany—commute to the capital city for work, with each driver spending an average of 33 hours in traffic jams in 2016, according to a study by transportation analytics company Inrix.
Part of the cost of the free transit initiative will be covered by removing a tax break for commuters, The Independent reported.
The new plan still needs to be fully ironed out. For instance, a decision has not yet been made on how to handle first and second class compartments on trains, The Guardian said.
Fares to travel just about anywhere in Luxembourg are already capped at a low price of €2 ($2.30) for up to two hours of travel, according to The Independent. Youth already travel for free and many commuters qualify for a €150 ($170) pass that allows travel on all public transport for a year.
The two-time prime minister's Democratic Party works with the Socialist Workers Party and the Greens, which vowed to protect the environment, invest more in public services and legalize recreational cannabis during the recent election campaign, Reuters reported.
- European cities consider making public transport free to tackle air ... ›
- Vehicles, Air Pollution, and Human Health | Union of Concerned ... ›
- Seoul Tackles Air Pollution With Free Public Transit - CityLab ›
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.