While some are not so fond of public transportation, it has some big advantages. That is why Luxembourg made it free for everyone in the country.
In fact, in 2020 the small European nation decided to offer the service completely for free. It is now the first country in the world to do so.
The Advantages Of Public Transportation
Surely, we all have some bad memories from a bus or a train. From people invading our personal space to others shouting on the phone, to nauseating smells of all kinds, public transportation can be unpleasant.
However, it has considerable advantages for the environment, helping to reduce CO2 emissions considerably. It also contributes to less traffic on the streets, and consequently fewer car accidents.
On top of that, it is generally less expensive than owning your own vehicle. If the state then decides to make it totally free, it really makes moving around much more accessible to everybody.
Luxembourg Offers Free Transportation
Considering these advantages, it is not surprising how many countries are thinking of making public transportation free. In several places, groups of people like students or seniors can already travel for free, or for cheaper prices.
No one before Luxembourg, though, had made trains, trams, and buses gratis for all commuters. They also plan to reinforce the national rail network and increase the number of parking spaces.
François Bausch is the minister of mobility in Luxembourg and a supporter of the decision. For him, the initiative is:
"The social icing on the cake of the global strategy for a multimodal revolution."
"The range, punctuality and quality of the services on offer are crucial to motivating people to change their habits and switch from private cars to public transport."
Hoping For A True Change
A spokesperson of the government explained:
"As 2020 is a leap year and as the concerts and celebrations are happening tomorrow, it has been decided to make public transport free as from tomorrow, in order to allow everybody to join the public events free of charge."
Not everyone, however, is convinced that this decision will bring about positive change. Claude Moyen, a teacher who commutes daily for work, hopes the quality of service does not decrease. He commented:
"I'm not sure if making public transport free here in Luxembourg will take more people out of their cars."
The government eliminated the tax break for commuters, thus encouraging people to prefer public transport over using private cars. This way, they also plan to cover part of the costs.
Some people expressed concern, but most welcomed the decision as a positive one. In the coming years, we will get to see how the experiment goes and if other countries then follow suit.