Picture: Francois Bausch
We caught up with Francois Bausch, Deputy PM of Luxembourg, at MOVE: mobility reimagined to talk their new Mobility Plan 2035 and how Luxembourg has become the first country in the world to make public transport free.
As the transition towards net-zero approaches, many countries have made the decision to charge nothing for public transport services. This aims to reduce the number of cars on the road, and aims to be cheaper than owning a private car. Making public transport free could significantly reduce Co2 emissions in crowded urban zones, who are the main contributors to such pollution.
However, some people worry that this could not be the best step for urban cities to take. Governments would be solely responsible for the costs of public transport e.g, maintenance and salary of staff and therefore it means that this would be very expensive to implement. Furthermore, public transport can already be very chaotic in commuter hours, and making it free could only increase this chaos as more and more people ditch their cars.
Whatever the pros and cons might be, the country of Luxembourg is one of the success stories that has come from making the decision not to charge for public transport.
Bausch commented saying: ““We have a complete new strategy about reorganising our mobility system, and for me, the free public transport is the icing on the cake of this strategy,”
He continues to say: “I must say that the discussions we provoked by launching free public transport helped us a lot because it’s really something to de-diamondise… it’s a real success, and I can only suggest for other urban areas to do the same thing”
Many countries have discussed trialling free public transport in an attempt to make their cities more environmentally friendly, however, it may be a long time before we see this implemented across the globe.
Watch the full interview below!