This Country Is Making All Public Transit Free

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel speaks to the press as he arrives at a special meeting of the European Council in Brussels

Fares will be lifted next summer under the recently re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel.

Bettel, whose Democratic party will form a government with the left-wing Socialist Workers' party and the Greens, had vowed to prioritise the environment during the recent election campaign. The first-of-its-kind move is expected to relieve chronic congestion in the tiny country's capital, Luxembourg City, where the 110,000 residents are joined by around 400,000 commuters every day.

As well as free public transport from 2020, Bettel had also promised to invest more in public services and to legalise recreational use of cannabis.

Luxembourg City suffers from some of the worst traffic congestion in the world.

Most people working in the city commute from the neigbouring countries and are set to benefit from the free public transport system.

A study suggested that drivers in the capital spent an average of 33 hours in traffic jams in 2016.

Luxembourg has increasingly shown a progressive attitude to transport.

Luxembourg is a small European country surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany. As the UK's The Independent newspaper noted, fares are capped at about $2.20 for two hours of travel.

Children and young people under the age of 20 already ride free on public buses, trams and trains in Luxembourg, thanks to a policy change introduced by Bettel's government earlier this year.

It's understood abolishing all public transport fares will save the government money on the collection and processing of fares. But details of the plan still require some hashing out as there's yet to be a decision on what to do about the existing first- and second-class compartment on some trains.

The CSV, however, lost seats, while the Greens gained three seats.

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