Euronews.green writes that journeys by public transport rose 20% since the service has been made free for everyone five months ago. According to official numbers, in the first three months of the service being made free, the number of people taking the bus or a tram has increased by 23.7% compared to the first three months of the year 2019.

A particular increase in the number of public transport adopters has been observed during off-peak hours, which indicates that many people used the service to socialize and for leisure. The data helped the public transport system operator understand that some lines may need an improvement during certain times to keep up with demand.

Definitive figures are expected to be available by the end of this year, when the scheme will have been in place for a full year. Counting devices were implemented in the vehicles last year in November to offer more accurate information on how many passengers used public transport.

Making public transport free is part of a strategy implemented by authorities in Montpellier to push for zero carbon mobility, while also investing in cycling lanes and low emissions zones. To compensate for the loss of tickets resulted by making public transport free, authorities increased the overall taxes, which will cover for the expenses.