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Luxembourg becomes the first country to have plans of offering free public transportation to commuters.
The small and prosperous country in Western Europe will start waiving fares on trains, buses, and trams in the summer of 2019, according to Luxembourg’s prime minister. With this scheme, the government hopes to encourage the use of public transportation instead of private vehicles in order to reduce traffic congestion in the country.
The country’s capital, Luxembourg City, endures some of the worst traffic jams in the world. In 2016, drivers reportedly got stuck in traffic for an average of 33 hours. Although the capital houses a small population of 110,000 people, 400,000 workers commute there for work every day. Approximately 200,000 people from neighboring countries also come to the country for work daily.
Similar policies have already been put in place to promote the use of public transportation and address the issue of traffic congestion. Since August 2018, people below 20 years old have been enjoying free public transportation. Students aged 30 and below have also been able to benefit from free shuttle rides to and from their educational institution since then.
On another note, some commuters and critics have expressed their concerns about the government’s latest transport scheme. Some commuters worry that the rise in the use of public transportation will lower the quality of rides. In addition, critics say that the scheme will require train companies to make certain adjustments to accommodate more passengers, which might increase operational costs.
The scheme is not yet finalized, as the government is still discussing the preparations needed for its implementation.