When it comes to mobility, Luxembourg is one of Europe’s busiest hubs. This includes some 200.000 daily cross-border commuters, which make up a sizable part of the country’s workforce. Since 2020, public transportation has been free in Luxembourg, and with a new pilot project in France, Luxembourg brings gratuity to areas beyond its borders in an effort to increase the popularity of public transportation.
From France to Luxembourg City – for free
Since 31 January 2022, French commuters to Luxembourg are able to enjoy the gratuity of public transportation that has been popular with Luxembourgish residents since its inception in 2020. The Ministry of Mobility and Public Works has indeed launched a pilot project on a bus line spanning the border in order to promote public transportation among French commuters. Outside of this pilot project, they still have to pay the fare to reach the Luxembourgish border however.
The Park + Ride near the small French village of Roussy-le-Village, a mere 5km from Luxembourg’s southern border, and terminal station for bus line 323, was chosen for this initiative. Line 323 connects Roussy-le-Village to Kirchberg, Luxembourg City’s economic hub. The French terminal is also conveniently located close to one of the most popular axis for cross-border commuters.
The success of this initiative will be closely monitored over the following 6 months, in the hopes that this offer will be taken up by a large number of passengers. Its goal is not just to attract new passengers to public transportation, but also to offer a closer alternative for those who drive to Luxembourg in order to take the bus or the train there.
Commuters account for 44% of Luxembourg’s workforce
On 1 March 2020, Luxembourg became the first country worldwide to offer completely free public transportation, for residents and visitors alike. Cross-border commuters however were left out, as this gratuity does not extend beyond the national borders. In other words, there is a lot of untapped potential for increasing the use of public transportation in Luxembourg.
Indeed, over 200.000 employees commuted to Luxembourg every day from France, Belgium or Germany in 2019, a gigantic figure that makes up some 44% of Luxembourg’s total workforce. With such a huge number of journeys, it is not surprising that Luxembourg’s road networks are congested at peak hours, a daily reminder that economic strength comes at a price.
In the 2017 Luxmobil survey, 14% of cross-border commuters from the three neighbouring countries indicated that they used public transportation regularly. According to Luxembourg’s National Mobility Plan (Plan national de mobilité, PNM), this part should reach 19% in 2035. For France, the PNM even foresees that 24% of commuters will be using public transportation at that moment.