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France: Montpellier's free public transport scheme increases passengers by a quarter

Added 2024-05-18


In the first three months of the scheme, introduced in December 2023, passenger numbers were 23.7% higher than before the pandemic, in 2019. There is a particular increase in off-peak hours, with more passengers now using Montpellier's free public transport for leisure purposes. The scheme is mainly funded by a 'mobility' tax (Versement Mobilité) on companies with at least 11 employees. Tickets used to cover less than 10% of transport costs so it should not have been a tough decision. On the other hand, non-residents, including tourists, still have to pay, so this contributes to revenue raising. An increasing number of EU cities are embracing free public transport including popular tourism destinations such as Cascais (Portugal), Tallinn (Estonia), Dunkirk and Aubagne (France), Livigno (Italy), Frýdek-Místek (Czechia), Polkowice, Lubin and Legnica (Poland), Velenje (Slovenia) Ærø (Denmark) and Samokov (Bulgaria).