The move to free transport has attracted a great deal of international attention. “If the country had launched a promotional campaign, it would have cost millions,” comments economist Michel-Edouard Ruben. “With this announcement, Luxembourg just achieved a worldwide ad campaign for free.”
But he feels the style outweighs the substance. “Free transport is a false, fashionable idea,” he argues. He feels the money would be better spent on rent subsidies or social housing.
Constance Carr, a senior postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg, voices similar views, saying: “Free public transport is a complex issue and fees are not the problem.” She highlights high-priced housing as the key social issue, saying rising costs are driving people out of the city to border areas. Making more land available for housing would be one potential solution, she says, but whether land owners would support that “is a big question”.