Luxembourg is a “pocket country” in Europe, with a land area of only 2,586 square kilometers and a world-ranked 168th place, just a little larger than the size of Shenzhen (1996 square kilometers). But Luxembourg is the world’s most notoriously wealthy country. Luxembourg’s GDP in 2018 is about $68.99 billion, with a per capita GDP of $114,000. And Habitat GDP is the world’s first year-round. Therefore, the Government has also always been generous in terms of public welfare expenditure.
Luxembourg will become the first country in the world to use public transport free of charge from Saturday (February 29), local time,media reported.
The move is aimed at alleviating the country’s growing congestion problem, which has already been implemented in some cities, but this one covers all of Luxembourg and all people. The free policy does not include first class trains and certain night buses.
The policy is understood to have been part of the platform of Luxembourg’s coalition government, led by the current prime minister, Xavier Bettel, promising to prioritize environmental and public transport as early as he ran for re-election.
Although Luxembourg is the richest country in the world per capita, it is also one of the most congested cities in the world. Luxembourg’s capital has a resident population of about 110,000, but about 400,000 people travel to and from the city every day, with as many as 200,000 coming to Luxembourg from France, Belgium and Germany alone. Data show that last year Luxembourg drivers had an average of 33 hours of road congestion a year.
In an effort to reduce traffic congestion, the Luxembourg government has in recent years introduced preferential policies to encourage people to use public transport, such as free transport for all local under-20s as early as summer 2018 and free school buses for all secondary school students.
It is understood that Luxembourg’s public transport system costs up to 1 billion euros a year, but the current annual fare revenue is only 30 million euros, the balance is fully subsidized by the government.
At the same time, the Government of Luxembourg indicated that the total abolition of fares would save the cost of ticketing and setting fares, as well as the abolition of the allowance for long-distance commuters, which would offset some of the increased financial expenditure.