The first country in the world to make public transport free

Luxembourg abolished fares for trains, trams and buses on Saturday in what the government said was a bid to tackle road congestion and pollution, as well as supporting low earners. All standard-class journeys on public transport in the tiny and wealthy European country are now free of charge, compared to an annual pass worth 440 euros (R7590) before. Travellers can still pay for first class, at a cost of 660 euros (R11 484) a year.

“For people with low incomes or the minimum wage, for them it’s really substantial,” transport minister Francois Bausch told Reuters. “The main reason is to have a better quality of mobility, and then the side reason is clearly also environmental issues.” Luxembourg has just over 600 000 inhabitants, but 214 000 more travel in for work every day from neighbouring Germany, Belgium and France, causing heavy traffic jams as the majority of workers commute by car.

More than half of Luxembourg’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transport.

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