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Luxembourg Becomes the First Country in the World to Make All of its Public Transport Free

The Western European microstate is combating environmental pollution and income inequality through covering basic services.

Duane Paul Murphy

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Luxembourg becomes the first country in the entire world to make all its public transportation free of charge to its citizens in order to combat climate change and traffic congestion. All money fares on public trains, trams, and buses will be ended by next summer in 2019 under the country’s openly gay prime minister, Xavier Bettel, and his government majority coalition between his liberal centrist Democratic Party and leftist parties such as the center-left social democratic Socialist Workers’ Party and the progressive Greens.

Before this policy announcement, this past summer in 2018, the Luxembourgish government brought in free public transport for every child and young person under the age of 20 years old across the country. Secondary school students can use free shuttles between their own academic institution and their own home within the country.

Currently, all money fares are capped at €2 or about $2 for any method of public transportation up to two hours of travel, which covers most journeys in the 2,585 km² sized Western European microstate located between Germany, France, and Belgium.

The country’s capital city, Luxembourg City, is home to about 107,000 but gets more 400,000 commuters from Luxembourg and or other countries in the European Union crossing through almost every time, making it one of the worst congested areas throughout the continent. Bettel and his government hope that this could combat climate change by decreasing emissions from personal vehicles as well as decrease overall costs of living.

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Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college student and student journalist born and raised in Southern California. Currently studying for his bachelor’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

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