Luxembourg eyes free public transport

Luxembourg eyes free public transport

In a bid to do away with its traffic woes and keep up with its promises of social welfare, the Xavier Bettel-led government in Luxembourg has made a decision to provide free public transport to commuters.

Fares on trains, trams and buses will be lifted next summer under the plans of the re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister on Wednesday.

Luxembourg City has some of the worst traffic congestion in the world, The Guardian reported.

The City is home to just 110,000 people, but it becomes inundated with a further 400,000 commuters, with half of travelling from neighbouring countries France, Germany and Belgium.

The free fares plan is the latest step in encouraging citizens to use public transport.

A study suggested that drivers in the capital spent an average of 33 hours in traffic jams in 2016. The move will also save on the collection and processing of fares and the policing of ticket purchases.

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Students in secondary schools also have shuttles which ferry them from home to school and back for free.

The government, however, has yet to divulge their plans for the first- and second-class compartments on trains.

Fares are now capped at two euros for two hours of travel, which in a small European nation of just 999 sq miles (2,590 sq km) covers most journeys.

Bettel only just scraped back into government in the recent election.

The Christian Social People's Party (CSV) - which was led for 19 years by European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker - remained the largest party in parliament, but lost seats, as did the LSAP and the Democratic Party.

He now holds 31 seats in the 60-seat chamber, with Mr Bettel's Democratic Party gaining 12 seats and the Socialist Workers' Party and Greens achieving 10 and nine seats respectively.

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