In a world-first, Luxembourg has become the first country to offer totally free public transport. The plan is part of the nation’s initiative to keep as many private cars off the roads as possible. Other governments around the world have their eyes on the nation that has certainly set a precedent.
Although Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe and the world, it has a thriving economy that makes it a hub for visitors from neighboring nations. Foreigners arrive daily from neighboring Belgium, Germany, and France, causing major traffic jams on the roads.
To put it in context, Luxembourg is a country with barely 600,000 inhabitants, but a third more people arrive daily from other countries. It is estimated that a total of 214,000 people enter daily from other countries to work. Luxembourg’s initiative offers totally free public transportation regardless of social class and nationality to get as many private cars off the roads as possible.
“For people with low income or minimum wage, for them, (free) is really substantial. The main reason is to have a better quality of mobility, and then the second reason is clearly also environmental issues.”
73% of travelers entering Luxembourg do so by car. As a result, almost half of the nation’s carbon emissions come from car transport. Therefore, free public transport will be one of the most significant instruments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But Luxembourg is also a nation with significant investments in green energies. In 2018 it increased its renewable energy production by up to 35%, reaching 605 gigawatts, equivalent to 9.25% of national consumption.
But this free public transport management is not new to Luxembourg. The same year, it began a major ten-year investment of 3.9 billion euros in railroads and all-electric bus fleets that will be fully operational by 2030. But, of course, such a large investment and radical change does not happen overnight but has to be done gradually.
Citizens and visitors can now enjoy this free service. Although certainly, those who wish to continue traveling with great comfort can travel in first class, which still has a cost.
Luxembourg is a tiny country, making the transition to green energy less complex but no less important. As a result, many countries worldwide have their eyes set on this small nation to analyze how it can transition to more environmentally friendly practices.