Luxembourg Transport Minister Francois Bausch hailed a "great day" for the Grand Duchy, as it became the first country on Earth to make public transport ticket free.
Commuters, Visitors Will Benefit Too<p>"You will no longer need a ticket to board any national bus, train or the tram," proclaimed Luxembourg's public transport consortium Saturday, adding: "Commuters from neighboring countries will benefit from reduced fares!"</p><p>It warned Luxembourgers however: "Free public transport ends at the border, so you must get a cross-border pass or ticket if you plan to travel outside of the territory of the Grand Duchy."</p><p>Tickets would also be needed for first-class travel on trains.</p><p>To end traffic jams, Luxembourg in 2017 opened the <a href="http://www.luxtram.lu/de/dokumentation/bildergalerie/" target="_blank">first section of its planned tram service</a> from the capital's southern outskirts to its airport to the north.</p><p>And it's now focused on <a href="https://mobilitegratuite.lu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Modu2.0-%E2%80%93-A-multimodal-strategy-BAT-Web.pdf" target="_blank">anticipating travel demand</a>, doubling "Park+Ride" car parking spaces "especially at borders" and establishing "cohesive" cycle routes across its 2,586-square-kilometer (998-square-mile-) landscape.</p><p>Alone for its nascent track network, 4 billion euros are being invested over the period 2018 to 2027, to cater for an anticipated 20 percent rise in public mobility needs by 2025.</p><p><span></span>That amounts to €600 per Luxemburg resident per year on rail transport, says the ministry.</p>
Stuck in Traffic<p>A survey done in 2018 by TNS Ilres found that cars in Luxembourg accounted for 47 percent of business travel and 71 percent of leisure transport.</p><p>By 2030, its public transport fleet is expected to have "alternative drive technology," a reference to electric motorization. </p><p>Luxembourg, by area one of Europe's smallest sovereign states but one of four EU seats, including the European Court of Justice, is staffed by commuters who travel daily from neighboring France, Belgium and Germany.</p>
Population Growth<p> The 614,000-person dukedom, with comparatively high wages, is facing strong growth in population. Almost half are foreigners, including resident Portuguese citizens making up 18 percent, and French at 13 percent. </p><p> Bausch, a former Luxembourg rail civil servant and member of the Greens, is also Luxembourg's deputy prime minister in a three-party liberal-social democrat-greens coalition government renewed in 2018 and headed by premier Xavier Bettel.<br> </p><p> In neighboring Germany, Alexander Handschuh, spokesman for the country's DStGB local bodies association, said Luxembourg's move signaled a paradigm shift because it was trying "very resolutely with an all-round concept" to boost public transport. </p>
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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.