Free public transport in Luxembourg? Will it really happen?

Free public transport in Luxembourg? Will it really happen?

Luxembourg Tourism is not the only one about to treat visitors to their country. More than 600,000 Luxembourg citizen will say good bye to bus and train tickets in their country, since Luxembourg is on its path to becoming the first country where all public transportation is free.

Luxembourg is a small European country, a member of the European Union and part of the Schengen region. The country is surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany. It’s mostly rural, with dense Ardennes forest and nature parks in the north, rocky gorges of the Mullerthal region in the east and the Moselle river valley in the southeast. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is famed for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs.

Whilst plans to go ahead for Luxembourg to offer fully-subsidized public transport in March 2020, the trade union Syprolux remains steadfast against the move.

With just 16 delegates, Syprolux is one of the smaller trade unions, but according to its president Mylène Bianchy, it is also the ‘snappiest’, its management stressed at a conference. The union stands by the fact that it is questioning what needs to be questioned, and its members have solid arguments.

Among the questions raised are the uncertainty of how cross-border fares are going to be calculated, and whether cross-border workers will attempt to board trains in the Grand Duchy despite park& ride zones not yet being built across the borders. It is also unclear how train conductors should react in case of difficulties with a customer as tickets can’t be confiscated. The trade union wonders whether having to stop the train and waiting for the police to arrive is the best way forward in that case.

One of the day’s resolutions was the demand for transport police. Individuals in charge at Syprolux also highlighted the issue of a lack of actual trains available to transport an increasing amount of customers. One question was stark, namely whether train operators be allowed to tolerate overcrowded trains?

Another issue is the increasing amount of construction and road works, many more of which are planned for the next five years. Bianchy asked how politicians can justify train line suspensions to individuals who purchase first-class travelcards, worth €660 for an annual pass if they then have to take replacement buses for months at a time due to railworks.

The trade union is particularly concerned with employees’ wellbeing. Questions arise as to whether safety and quality measures can be maintained. In addition, CFL is experiencing difficulties in finding matching profiles for new hires, resulting in an overall lack of employees.

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