If you had to rate Luxembourg out of 10 for transport, how much would you rate it and why?
François Benoy. – “On national level: 7/10. Luxembourg’s dependence on cars remains a huge issue, with negative impacts on climate, nature, health and quality of life. However, under green leadership, Luxembourg has made great investments into public transport, better mobility and the green transition.
Today, we have the highest per capita rail investment in Europe by far, and the quality of our public transport has already significantly improved. The development of soft mobility has also been accelerated. We now have a 1.000+ km national cycling network program and subsidies to build regional and local bike lanes, as well as the hugely successful subsidies for (e-)bikes. Unfortunately, Luxembourg City failed to read the signs of the times and hasn’t provided inhabitants with the safe bike network they are entitled to. That’s why I would rate the local efforts in Luxembourg City only with 3/10.
What lessons about mobility from the pandemic and lockdown can we learn?
“The drop in motorised traffic during the pandemic demonstrated that the dominance of cars in our cities is neither natural nor desirable: less traffic leads to healthier air, quieter and safer streets and more space for bikes and pedestrians, as well as shorter travelling times for those who still have to rely on a car. Many people (re)discovered their love for cycling, and this cycling boom still persists today.
Sadly, the City did not take up our green proposal for pop-up bike lanes during the first lockdown. Because of their resounding success, temporary bike lanes are currently being turned into permanent fixtures of cities all over Europe. I am convinced that with proactive leadership and the right vision, Luxembourg City too can become one of Europe’s great biking capitals, as well as a lively, liveable city for all.
Is the free public transport experiment working?
“Yes, because public transport has become easier to use for everyone, and based on an analysis by Statec, households with lower incomes benefit the most from free public transport. This is a good example of a socially just, green mobility transition.”