Luxembourg officials first announced plans to offer free public transport last month, and they’ve now revealed more details about the plan. Free public transport will begin March 1, 2020. Originally, they had planned to make public transportation free starting this summer, but they decided to push the date back due to logistics.
Free public transport is coming to Luxembourg
Luxembourg will make all second-class seats on buses, trams and trains free starting March 1, 2020. First-class train passengers will still pay. Officials decided to do that so those who wish to work in quiet while riding on the train will still be able to do so. They plan to keep the same structure of the first- and second-class train compartments the same. The first-class ticket will still be priced at €3 for a day or €660 for the full year.
Officials decided in the date in 2020 because most public transport users in Luxembourg pay for annual tickets. Instead of trying to issue refunds for the many citizens who paid for an annual ticket which is good past this summer, officials decided to delay the enactment of free public transport. Riders who need to purchase tickets between now and March 2020 can simply pay for their fares through Feb. 29 using a combination of daily, monthly or annual tickets.
Passengers will be required to carry identification with them under the new system.
Cheap is getting even cheaper
According to the Independent, Luxembourg’s public transportation system was already the least expensive in Europe. Every passenger under the age of 20 was already riding free. Additionally, a full-day ticket covering all public transportation systems is priced at only €4, which is less than a ticket for the six-minute trip between London’s Victoria and Clapham Junction stations.
Luxembourg officials estimate the cost of offering free public transport at about €41 million per year, although the Independent reports that it costs about €1 billion just to operate the system. The news outlet also adds that even though the tiny European nation’s economy is quite strong, it deals with major traffic issues on a daily basis.
Luxembourg itself has fewer than 600,000 residents, but nearly 200,000 commuters travel from Belgium, Germany and France every day. Trains crossing into Luxembourg will still charge fares, but the prices will be reduced to account for the free fares inside the nation’s borders. The Grand Duchy is also working to reduce emissions by converting all of its buses to all-electric models within the next decade.