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Luxembourg set to make all public transport free in world-first

  • 05-12-2018 7:45pm
    #1
    Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,289 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatInABox


    Luxembourg is making all public transport free from next summer. I'll be watching this with great interest. If it pays for itself with an improvement to the economy, I'd say this could be copied elsewhere. It's a tiny city-state, but even so, this is worth watching.

    See the Irish Times here.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Excellent idea. It could pay for itself in terms of carbon fines being reduced.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,787 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Tallinn and surrounds have done free for residents for some time and it appears to work relatively well


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,442 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,762 ✭✭✭ mikemac2


    Luxembourg city buses were already free on Saturdays to encourage shoppers to use them. There is even a bus that spins around the city specifically for shoppers, smallest city bus you've ever seen :D

    504462.jpg

    Students or under 25´s didn't have to pay and I do not know about pensioners.

    Free travel was not welcomed by all. The trains need updating and some look like are from a black and white film. Ah they are not bad trains but they are ancient.

    No ticket collector is going to lose their job, they will still work the trains and walk up and down so no money saved. The 50 million or so a year could have been used on new trains

    While there was a ticket checker or two on every train the honour system on buses was widely abused. So tbh buses were already free.

    What Luxembourg city has and many Irish cities do not is a large focus on park and ride. West, South, East, dunno about North there are park and rides and you get the bus from there. If you insist on driving into the city and have no residents pass it is pay and display. The city centre multistory car parks charge fees that would make your eyes water :eek: Can be 30 euro plus for a day. Carrot and stick tbh

    I do not believe free transport will help traffic at all. A large proportion of people love their mega expensive cars (good for them) or have company cars and will never ever use buses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,052 ✭✭✭ Thinkingaboutit


    Small charges are a good way to avoid the waste of a resource. People often don't value what's for free. I would seem like the buses would be crowded by mitching schoolchildren. A lot of buses in Dublin, to state the really obvious, are crowded enough at peak times with commuters, and don't really have space for do nothings on the lam.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,127 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    Most innovation in Irish public transport has come from non state-owned private companies. If "public transport" (ie transport that is open to be used by the general public") had to be free-of-charge to the user, then this innovation wouldn't have happened.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 43 ✭✭✭ ReneeCali


    Most innovation in Irish public transport has come from non state-owned private companies. If "public transport" (ie transport that is open to be used by the general public") had to be free-of-charge to the user, then this innovation wouldn't have happened.

    Would you care to elaborate?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,655 ✭✭✭ salonfire


    ReneeCali wrote: »
    Would you care to elaborate?

    You really need someone to spell out for you the radical improvements in transport availability delivered by private enterprise versus the CIE job scheme club?


    It's a good point. If all public transport were free we would be at the mercy of CIE


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,071 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    ReneeCali wrote: »
    Would you care to elaborate?

    As an example, the private intercity coach operators have revolutionised intercity coach travel. Toilets on board, free wifi, power/usb plugs, services every 30 minutes, 24/7 service, non stop services that use the quickest routes, etc.
    salonfire wrote: »
    It's a good point. If all public transport were free we would be at the mercy of CIE

    You'd assume that this would only apply to PSO supported public transport, DB, GoAhead, BE PSO, Luas and DART/Commuter Rail and not to for profit operations.

    Even in Luxembourg, it looks like all the bus and coach services out of the airport have a fare. So it doesn't look to be free across the board.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,324 ✭✭✭ Polar101


    L1011 wrote: »
    Tallinn and surrounds have done free for residents for some time and it appears to work relatively well

    I seem to remember reading that because of the free system, they haven't been able to expand the network to keep up with city growth - so some areas are now lacking tram lines (etc). Not sure how accurate that is at all.

    I guess in order to go "free", you'd have to have a well designed and "ready" public transport infrastructure. So I wouldn't really see it working in Dublin, for example, without major investment first. Not that it's on the agenda anyway, Dublin's public transport system can barely handle regular Sunday passenger numbers.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,591 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Most innovation in Irish public transport has come from non state-owned private companies. If "public transport" (ie transport that is open to be used by the general public") had to be free-of-charge to the user, then this innovation wouldn't have happened.
    Public transport being free to the user isn't inconsistent with private companies being involved - it depends on the funding model. If you want to, you can have a setup in which the state offers the same per-passenger or per-route subvention to a private operator as it does to the public operator. This gives the private operator a revenue stream to replace the ticket revenue that he would get under a far-paying system, and he can innovate away to his heart's content. If it's a per-passenger subvention he has an incentive to innovate, since he can increase his revenue by attracting more passengers. Cost impact on the taxpayer is neutral; the subvention costs the taxpayer the same whether it goes to the public operator or to the private operator.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭ niloc1951


    In 2005 the city of Gap in the Hautes-Alpes department of France decided to give access to the buses for free for the whole population in order to fight against the greenhouse gas emissions. So nothing new in the concept.


  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ PreCocious


    bk wrote: »
    Even in Luxembourg, it looks like all the bus and coach services out of the airport have a fare. So it doesn't look to be free across the board.

    Not quite. The public transport from the airport (eg the 16 & 29) are free as well as any other services operated on a public basis (some of whom are run by private operators). Purely private operations eg the Flibco bus have a cost.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,127 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Public transport being free to the user isn't inconsistent with private companies being involved - it depends on the funding model. If you want to, you can have a setup in which the state offers the same per-passenger or per-route subvention to a private operator as it does to the public operator. This gives the private operator a revenue stream to replace the ticket revenue that he would get under a far-paying system, and he can innovate away to his heart's content. If it's a per-passenger subvention he has an incentive to innovate, since he can increase his revenue by attracting more passengers. Cost impact on the taxpayer is neutral; the subvention costs the taxpayer the same whether it goes to the public operator or to the private operator.

    Governments don't like per-passenger subsidies because of their open ended nature: they cannot control their total cost exposure.



    Someone asked for examples: Consider West Cork, where there's been a huge problem of BE leaving potential passengers behind. A private sector operator has just started operating, and is promising to guarantee seats for people who book on-line. Can you imagine our state-owned operators doing that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    I really don’t get the obsession with free public transport.

    To do it here would cost €600m https://www.thejournal.ie/public-transport-free-4493692-Feb2019/. Could you imagine if someone offered to invest €600m a year in PT for even the next decade how big an improvement there would be? Why not invest in it instead. You’re taking money that’s already being directly put into PT and instead transferring it into general taxation.

    People who use PT are already doing so while paying for it and it’s unlikely that the majority of people who don’t use would switch. The biggest factor is availability not price. In most cases, PT is already cheaper yet because of the perceived inconvenience of PT people don’t factor in the full price of driving.

    Free PT encourages those who usually walk or cycle to take transport instead for short trips because there is no incentive not too, taking up the limited capacity.

    Keep in mind that we already offer free PT to 1 in 4 people here through the free travel pass.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 288 ✭✭ citysights


    Great idea, if only they would do it here.


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