Norwegian city to offer free public transport to tackle traffic spike
Oslo, May 23 (IANS) The Norwegian city of Stavanger is set to offer free public transport to its residents from July onwards in an effort to tackle increasing vehicular traffic.
The municipality of Stavanger in southwest Norway has allocated 200 million Kroner ($18 million) to the project, Xinhua news agency quoted Mayor Kari Nessa Nordtun as saying on Monday.
The public will be able to use all buses, boats, and trains in the city free of charge for an entire year.
The initiative is also aimed at promoting the use of sustainable transport in Norway's fourth-largest city.
"By reducing the reliance on cars, the city aims to diminish its carbon footprint and alleviate congestion during peak hours, benefiting both the environment and motorists," the Mayor said.
Vehicle traffic in Stavanger is rising due to population growth and a thriving business sector.
Therefore, the local government has set a target of ensuring that at least 70 per cent of passenger journeys are conducted on foot, by bicycle, or on public transport.
The provision of free public transport will provide a powerful incentive for achieving this goal.
The final budget and technical details of the initiative are set to be approved at a municipal council meeting on June 19.