Free public transport planned in Luxembourg’s green drive

In a first, Luxembourg plans to offer free public transport from next summer to reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion.

The move was announced by the coalition government led by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel which assumed power for a second term on Wednesday.

Bettel’s Democratic Party, along with its alliance partners Socialist Workers and Greens, had promised a healthier environment for people if voted to power during their election campaigns.

Some 400,000 workers, half of them from neighbouring France, Belgium or Germany, commute to Luxembourg City of about 110,000 people. On an average, drivers had wasted 33 hours in traffic snarls in 2016, according to a study cited by The Guardian.

This is not the first attempt by Luxembourg to encourage commuters to use trains, trams and buses. Earlier, it offered free transport for youths under the age of 20. School students are provided free shuttle services between their schools and homes.

Part of the cost for the transport initiative will be footed by removing a tax break for commuters.

Like Canada, the new government is also considering legalising cannabis and adding two more public holidays.

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