Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on June 3 announced an important initiative for the women travellers in the city. The chief Minister announced free DTC bus rides and DMRC metro rides for all the women passengers in the national capital. The announcement has received positive and negative reactions from citizens which is said to help women have a safe travelling experience and encourage use of public transport.
While Delhi might be the first city in India to encourage free public rides, this is not something new to the Western world. Several European countries have provided free public transport to all passengers in order to reduce the usage of private vehicles, with the aim to reduce air pollution. Here is a list of other cities and countries that provide free public transport, also known as fare-free public transit or zero-fare public transport.
1. Luxembourg: The European country will become the first country in the world to offer free public transport from 2020. To curb the air pollution and avoid traffic congestion, Luxemburg will offer free rides in buses, trains and trams, and scrap the fares.
2. Tallinn: The capital city of Estonia, Tallinn made public transport free in 2013. Tallinn introduced free public transport for local residents. One can register for free rides by purchasing a €2 green card. However, it is not free for visitors from other parts of the country as well as the world.
3. Dunkirk: From 1 September 2018, Dunkirk became the largest metropolitan area in France and Europe to introduce free for all on its entire bus network after it introduced free public bus rides for everyone, even visitors. In addition, there are two dozen French towns where you can travel for free, which includes Compiègne, Noyon, Pont-Sainte-Maxence, Crépy-en-Valois, Chantilly, Carhaix, Mayenne, Senlis, Vitré, Châteaudun, Neuves-Maisons, Saint-Brevin-Les-Pins, Issoudun, Niort, Châteauroux, Gap, Libourne, Figeac, Nyons, Gaillac, Manosque, Castres, Muret and Aubagne.
4. Tórshavn: The capital city of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, provides free public transport for everyone in order to make people use public transport rather than private vehicles, curbing air pollution and avoiding congestion. Free transport has been available since 2009.
5. Renesse: To encourage the use of public transport, the town of Renesse in the Netherlands offers zero-fare bus service during the summer months.