Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- prosperous / ˈprɑːspərəs / (adj) – successful, rich
The company had a prosperous year due to increased product sales.
- waive / weɪv / (v) – to not do or use something that is required
The train company waives ticket fees during the holidays.
- congestion / kənˈʤɛstʃən / (n) – the state of being overcrowded or full
Traffic congestion is very common during the Christmas season.
- endure / ɪnˈdɚ / (v) – to bear something difficult for a long period of time
Commuters endure overcrowded trains every morning to get to work.
- jam / ʤæm / (n) – a situation in which there is little to no movement because things are stuck very closely together
I was late because I was stuck in a traffic jam.
Read the text below.
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.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
• Do you think that Luxembourg’s free transportation scheme will be effective in addressing traffic congestion in the country? Why or why not?
• Aside from those mentioned in the article, what are the other possible effects of the free public transportation scheme? Discuss.
• Aside from transportation, what other services should governments provide for free? Explain.
• In your opinion, what difficulties will governments face in making these services free? Discuss.