Luxembourg to become world’s first country with free public transport

This tiny European state battles some of the worst traffic congestions in the world

Citizens and visitors to Luxembourg might soon have the option to travel through the state without paying for their tickets. As the first country in the world, the tiny duchy in Europe plans to provide all public transportation for free.

The government has pledged to lift the fares on buses, trams and trains next summer —  CIW1 / Shutterstock Luxembourg to become world's first country with free public transport
The government has pledged to lift the fares on buses, trams and trains next summer — CIW1 / Shutterstock

Luxembourg’s government coalition led by Xavier Bettel has pledged to lift the fares on buses, trams and trains next summer in their attempt to fight traffic congestion.

Transportation is one of the biggest issues the country is currently facing. The small Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is home to 600,000 inhabitants with 110,000 living in the capital. More than 400,000 people commute to the city every day.

In 2016, drivers spent an average of 33 hours in traffic jams with their engines on.

The newly re-elected government has pledged to continue with its policy to make the environment a priority. However, the plans for free public transport are not the first attempt to fight it. In summer, the cabinet introduced free transport for every child and young person under the age of 20.

In 2016, drivers spent an average of 33 hours in traffic jams in the city of Luxembourg — Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock Luxembourg to become world's first country with free public transport
In 2016, drivers spent an average of 33 hours in traffic jams in the city of Luxembourg — Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock

Secondary school students have the option to use free shuttles between their homes and institutions. Older commuters currently pay $2.30 (€2) for up to two hours of travel during which they can travel through almost the entire country.

The policy to make public transport completely free is yet to be approved. The government has to make a decision about first and second class compartments on trains.

While Luxembourg will be the first country to launch such a policy in the whole state, its capital won’t be the first city to do so.

In 2017 the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, made public transport free for its citizens. People are only required to register as residents and pay $2.30 (€2) for a green card.