Bus for disabled travellers is not included in Luxembourg's free public transport scheme

The first country in the world to abolish fares on trains, trams and buses will not extend the concept to its on-demand service for disabled travellers.

Luxembourg is set to make public transport free of charge from 1 March 2020.

As The Independent has reported, fare revenue currently covers barely 3 per cent of the cost of providing public transport in the Grand Duchy.  For every euro that is collected in fares, taxpayers subsidise travellers by about €30.

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But travellers with disabilities will have to continue to pay to use a fleet of purpose-built buses designed for people who cannot travel independently or on public transport.

The Adapto system uses 26 different bus companies to provide the service throughout the country. 

The standard journey charge is €5 (£4.50) single or €8 (£7.20) return. Able-bodied companions must pay the same.

In the Luxembourg parliament, a politician belonging to the centre-right CSV, Marco Schank, said: “There should be no discrimination between people with and without disabilities.” 

But the ruling centre-left coalition, which campaigned for free transport, said Adapto was not comparable with public transport – acting more like a taxi service. 

The Grand Duchy already offers free trains, buses and trams to everyone under 20, and to students aged up to 30. 

The universal free transport strategy has the social aim of reducing the gap between rich and poor – and the practical intention of cutting traffic congestion.

Luxembourg has more cars per capita than any other country in the European Union, and only one in five commuters uses public transport. 

The last tickets will not be collected on 28 February 2020, because the first-class carriages on the Luxembourg rail network are being kept in service for travellers who want to work “serenely” during their journeys.

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