If more people used public transit, there would likely be a lot less traffic congestion; this is a fact that’s been recognized by many countries across the globe. Luxembourg is a small European nation that’s had its share of traffic problems in recent years. To address this issue, the country recently announced drastic changes designed to encourage more people to use public transit.
- Though Luxembourg has a relatively tiny population, it suffers from immense traffic congestion.
- To help ease this gridlock, Luxembourg plans to make all public transit in the nation free of charge to riders.
- This makes Luxembourg the first country in the world to provide free nationwide public transportation.
Luxembourg is one of Europe’s wealthiest and most picturesque nations; it’s also home to some of the worst traffic congestion on the planet. (Photo: Gunther Schneider/Pixabay)
Small country, big traffic issues
A recent traffic index by TomTom looks at cities with the worst traffic congestion in 2019. Luxembourg City — Luxembourg’s capital — ranked 25th on the list, which is notable when you consider the nation’s relatively small population. Home to a mere 602,000 residents, Luxembourg is one of the world’s least populous countries.
Luxembourg’s traffic challenges stem largely from the nation’s heavy dependence on private cars as a means of getting from one place to the next. According to a 2018 survey reported in The Guardian, private cars are the most-used form of transportation in Luxembourg, accounting for 47 percent of business travel and 71 percent of leisure. Buses are only used for 32 percent of all trips to work; trains are used for 19 percent of trips.
The country trails many others in terms of public transit use. For example, in Paris, 69 percent of workers use public transport.
It’s estimated that Luxembourg’s public transit system costs about $562 million per year to run. Annual ticket sales account for about $46 million. Going forward, Luxembourg’s government will foot the entire bill for public transit. The country’s economy has been strong in recent years, and the government says it wants its citizens to benefit from this prosperity.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Free public transit is being explored not just in Luxembourg, but in a growing number of cities here in the U.S. As we struggle to deal with dire issues regarding congestion and climate change, this approach may offer a solution.