Free public transport rolled out in a country for first time

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel

Re-elected Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel will make all public transport in his country free from next Summer. AAP

Mr Bettel was sworn in for a second term on Wednesday, having promised to prioritise environmental issues. Although home to around 110, 000 people, the capital witnesses 400,000 commuters coming to the city to work.

It's hoped that by 2020, all tickets for public transportation will be abolished, leaving no need for fare collection and policing of ticket purchases and a significant reduction in traffic congestion.

Traffic congestion is a major problem in Luxembourg, which receives approximately 170,000 cross-border commuters from neighboring France, Belgium and Germany on a daily basis.

At the start of this month, a number of Ireland's public transport fares changed, with a few of them doing so for the worse.

Over the summer, free transport was introduced for every child and young person under the age of 20.

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Secondary school students are also provided free shuttle services between their places of study and homes. On top of that, there's an extremely low far of only €2 (S$3.1) for two hours of travel, which in such a small country covers nearly all journeys.

Georges Merenz, who heads the FNCTTFEL-Landesverband, Luxembourg's main transport union, expressed concerns that the government plan would lead to job losses if nobody was needed to sell tickets.

The new administration is also considering introducing two new public holidays and legalising cannabis - the latter policy has caused much debate in the country. For example, a decision still needs to be taken on what to do with first- and second-class compartments on trains.

The coalition won a razor-thin one-seat majority in the October election.

His Democratic Party will form a government with the left-wing Socialist Workers' party and the Greens.

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