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.
Germany Considers Free Public Transport to Fight Air Pollution https://t.co/Qw91NJi50M @greenpeaceusa… https://t.co/XzwSPOVVJS— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1518631152.0
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>