The morning commute traffic is seen in central Oslo on December 9, 2021. (PHOTO / AFP)
OSLO – The Norwegian city of Stavanger is set to offer free public transport to its residents from July onwards.
The municipality of Stavanger in southwest Norway has allocated 200 million Norwegian Kroner ($18.4 million) to the project, Mayor Kari Nessa Nordtun said on Monday.
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.
Kari Nessa Nordtun, Stavanger mayor
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 aimed at tackling an increase in car traffic, and promoting the use of sustainable transport in Norway's fourth-largest city.
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"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.
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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 percent 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.
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The final budget and technical details of the initiative are set to be approved at a municipal council meeting on June 19.