Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free

Cheryl Sanders
December 7, 2018

The coalition government, which comprises Bettel's centrist Democratic party, the left-wing Socialist Workers' Party and the Greens, had campaigned on a promise of increased environmental protection and improved public services.

It is home to about 110,000 people, but a further 400,000 commute into the city to work.

The country as a whole has about 200,000 residents and almost 200,000 people from neighbouring countries cross the border each day to work in Luxembourg.

Public transportation fares have also been fixed at a low rate across the country.

And for older Luxembourgers, commuters get two hours of travel for just €2 ($2.27).

And secondary school students are provided with free shuttles between their places of study and their home. But details of the plan still require some hashing out as there's yet to be a decision on what to do about the existing first- and second-class compartment on some trains. The fare covers nearly all journeys in the country with the size of only 999 square miles.

Asides the free public transport pledge, the new government is also considering legalising cannabis and introducing two new public holidays.

The foreign policy of the European Union's wealthiest but second smallest state is unlikely to change much, with Jean Asselborn keeping his post as foreign minister while Pierre Gramegna remains finance minister in the new administration.

In order to fund the initiative, a percentage of the cost will be covered by removing a tax break for commuters. The result gave the coalition 31 seats in the 60-seat chamber.

Bettel, a 45-year-old lawyer who previously served as mayor of Luxembourg City, has been prime minister since December 2013.

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