Free pub­lic trans­port a world first

The West Australian - - WORLD -

Lux­em­bourg is to be­come the first coun­try in the world to make all pub­lic trans­port free.

All fares for trains, trams and buses will be scrapped by next sum­mer as part of a new en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tive, Xavier Bet­tel, the prime minister, has an­nounced.

Lux­em­bourg City, the cap­i­tal, suf­fers from some of the worst traf­fic congestion in the world, with one study show­ing that drivers spent an av­er­age of 33 hours in traf­fic jams in 2016.

De­spite its tiny pop­u­la­tion of 110,000 peo­ple, some 400,000, in­clud­ing those from the bor­der­ing coun­tries of France, Bel­gium and Ger­many, com­mute to the cap­i­tal city for work.

Mr Bet­tel was sworn in for a sec­ond term on Wed­nes­day, hav­ing promised to pri­ori­tise en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

An­nu­ally, Lux­em­bourg’s na­tional pub­lic trans­port sys­tem costs about €1 bil­lion ($1.57 bil­lion) to run.

Xavier Bet­tel

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