Luxembourg has become the first country in the world to offer free public transport.
The small but wealthy European state – just under 100 square miles nestled between Belgium, France and Germany – has abolished fares for trains, trams and buses. This has been tried before in various cities, but Luxembourg is the first country to roll out the offer nationwide.
The thinking is three-fold: ecological, to cut traffic-based pollution; economic, because that traffic is cutting productivity; and social, to support low-earning workers who rely on public transport.
All standard-class journeys are now free: previously, an annual pass was 485 dollars. The government expects 40 percent of households to benefit.
Luxembourg’s population of just over 600,000 inhabitants is swollen every working day by more than 210,000 French, Belgian and German commuters, mostly driving and causing heavy traffic jams.