This Country Is Making All Public Transit Free

Luxembourg will stop charging next year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2018 3:25 AM CST
This Country Is Making All Public Transit Free
Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, left, and his husband Gauthier Destenay arrive at the official dinner on the eve of the international ceremony for the Centenary of the WWI Armistice in Paris, France, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.   (Ian Langsdon/Pool Photo via AP)

If Luxembourg's newly elected government keeps its campaign promises, residents will be able to use public transportation for free, spend the money saved on legal cannabis, and smoke it on two new public holidays. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has promised to make public transit a priority and to lift fares on buses, trains, and streetcars by next summer, the Guardian reports. 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.

Commuters currently pay a flat rate of around $2.50 for any journey under two hours. The government, which introduced free public transit for everybody under 20 last year, says the move will save money on collecting fares, and will be partially paid for by ending a tax break for commuters, Euronews reports. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was sworn in for a second term Wednesday after his ruling coalition, which includes the Socialist Workers' Party and the Green Party as well as his Democratic Party, narrowly won the recent election, taking 31 out of 60 seats in the legislature, the AP reports. (A program in Seattle charges transit riders based on their income.)

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