The Green party transport minister made the statement in an interview published by Paperjam magazine on 12 December.
Bausch was responding to earlier comments made by Robert Biel, head of new construction projects at the Highway Department, in an interview published by Paperjam magazine on 27 November. Biel had predicted that completion of the extension to Cloche d’Or would be delayed.
But Bausch said this week:
“After I read that article I immediately called Robert Biel who told me that the prediction was his personal opinion. I reminded him that his opinion does not have official value, mine does. We had a meeting about this last week and we reviewed the schedule so that it corresponds to what I had said, namely a service to Cloche d’Or in late 2022.”
Asked about what the planned free public transportation will involve, Bausch explained that this undertaking will not be an easy feat. First, there will have to be negotiations with neighbouring countries to develop a policy for cross-border trains. Plus, it will take some time for people to adapt to the change.
“That’s why we predict the reform to only take effect in the first trimester of 2020. A specific date will be announced at the end of January or beginning of February 2019.”
He added that since Luxembourg is the first country to launch free public transport, it is difficult to predict by how much the number of passengers might increase.
Bausch also said precise details on the new aircraft landing fees and an increase in passenger tax at Findel airport will be presented early next year.
“The fee schedule amount will be finalised in January. By European directive, airlines must be informed of a change in conditions at least six months in advance. So, it is probable that the tax will come into force at the end of 2019, possibly after the summer holidays.”
He said that Luxembourg had conducted a benchmarking study of European airports to determine the range that the fees could take.