Luxembourg’s public transport to become free
Yesterday, the Luxembourg government announced that the country’s public transport will become completely free. The country took example on Estonia even though that model hasn’t shown any real change in citizen’s behaviour.
Each one after the other, every one of the three parties’ representatives has confirmed that public transport will become completely free in Luxembourg. The forty million euro necessary to assist lower class households in their travels will be financed by the reduction of the kilometre incentive. Luxembourg follows the path of Estonia and Switzerland, but one is more effective than the other.
Failing Estonian system
Since 2013, all public transport is free in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Authorities have chosen to pass on the 12 million euro profit they generated to concentrate on helping their citizens, which they promised to do ever since 2005. Every resident can, with his ID and two euros, get a Green Card that allows him or her to move for free in the capital.
Yet, the system hasn’t been as successful as hoped. The increase in travels in the first year was majorly due to pedestrians switching to public transport. Worse, in five years, the number of cars has even grown by 44%. In Tallin, they produce 60% of the CO2 emissions compared to 6% for public transport. “The number of trips has only increased by 4 to 5% per year” notes the European Affairs delegate from Tallinn.
This summer, Estonia decided to expand the free public bus transport to the whole country. The country’s Reform Party berates the system judging that it doesn’t have any positive impact on the climate. The Party promises to stop the measure if it wins the 2019 legislative.