To cap off our five-part cover story, Delano provides a brief fact check on the arguments in favour of the upcoming nation-wide free public transport.
In part one and part two of “Free rides: what’s the point?”, Delano reviewed the evolution of the free public transport scheme, its impact and the nation branding effect. In part three, commuters talked about what impact, if any, the measure would have on them, while part four provided case studies of three other European locations that offered similar schemes.
Now, a quick fact check on the main arguments.
Argument: it’s a social measure
Delano check: Statec says those who use public transport as their only means of transport, for instance, will save on average €390 per year. So yes, it will increase purchase power.
Argument: it will increase use
Delano check: There is no strict evidence that this is true for Luxembourg, where fares were already low. In other cities use increased by between 1.4 and 85% (with the exception of Hasselt, Belgium).
Argument: it will ease congestion
Delano check: With 200,000+ commuters coming into the capital city every day, it will require massive uptake, beyond current capacity, to improve traffic flow on the roads.
Argument: it will have an environmental impact
Delano check: If even the Mouvement Écologique is sceptical, the potential impact on air quality seems to be negligible.
Argument: it was good for nation branding
Delano check: The announcements in December 2018 and January 2019 made headlines, the vast majority positive, around the world. It will also be convenient for visiting business travellers, which will also increase Luxembourg’s attractiveness.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Delano magazine.