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Auto & TransportFrom now on, free travel by bus and train in Luxembourg

From now on, free travel by bus and train in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is the first country in the world to make almost all public transport free of charge: From now on, tickets for buses, trains, and trams are generally no longer required in the small Grand Duchy.

“Just get in and ride with us!” Said Luxembourg’s Minister of Mobility Francois Bausch at Pfaffenthal-Kirchberg station at the start. The Green Party politician hopes that the free offer can motivate many people to switch from cars to local public transport vehicles. With the exception of first-class on the train and on some night buses, no one will have to pay for a journey by bus, train or tram.

The changeover to free travel is celebrated in the second smallest country in the EU with around 620,000 inhabitants. Music sounds at the train stations: people rap, dance, sing, and rock. And in the trains and trams, artists spread a party mood with mini-concerts. “It’s a big day,” said Bausch. A big party is planned for the evening in the Tram depot with several DJs.

A great turnaround in traffic

The free transport is part of a major concept for changing traffic in Luxembourg. At the same time, bus and train lines are being massively expanded. The country will invest a good four billion euros in rail alone from 2018 to 2027. The free public transport brings additional expenses of 41 million euros a year to the Luxembourg state. Many cross-border commuters from France, Belgium, and Germany, like the majority of the locals of the small Grand Duchy, drive to work in their car; Traffic jams on the border and in the center of the capital are the order of the day.

The free transport was supposed to start on Sunday (March 1st). A few days ago, because of the Saturday celebrations, the government decided to move the start one day earlier. “The interest worldwide is huge,” Minister Bausch sums up.

To get a grip on inner-city traffic, since the beginning of the year Augsburg has also no longer required a ticket for tram and bus users in the city.  The offer is intended in particular to improve the air quality in the inner city of the Bavarian city with around 300,000 inhabitants. The city zone, in which no ticket has to be bought, comprises the area of ​​nine stops.

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Qamar Munawer
Qamar Munawer
Associate Editor at The Eastern Herald. Ar. Qamar Munawer is currently at Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg in Germany.

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