Luxembourg is the first country to make all public transport free

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Luxembourg is on the way to becoming the first country to offer a free public transport system, the government trying to reduce particularly dense car traffic.

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Some cities have taken similar partial measures, but the Ministry of Transport said it was the only time that such a decision affected an entire country. Public transport will be free from Saturday onwards in a move that will affect around 40% of households and will save everyone around € 100 per year. This is part of a larger plan to reduce congestion.

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According to a 2018 survey by TNS Ilres, cars represented 47% of business trips and 71% of leisure. Buses are only used for 32% of business trips, followed by trains, which represent 19%. In comparison, in Paris, 69% of workers use public transport, according to INSEE, the French statistical institute. The city of Luxembourg, the capital, where a tram has been under construction for several years, is notoriously bad for traffic jams. The first unit of the tram has been operative since the end of 2017, but work will continue for several years to link the southern outskirts of the city to the north, where the airport is located. Transport Minister François Bausch said: “Systematic and continuous investment is a sine qua non-essential condition for promoting the attractiveness of public transport.”

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Sales of current € 2 tickets amount to € 41 million per year, which, according to the authorities, represented only 8% of the annual budget of € 500 million. This will now be waged by the Treasury. The exclusion to the free public transportation system will be first class travel on trains and some night bus services.

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