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A Finnish City Is Giving Drivers Free Fares to Take the Bus

Another bright idea from one of the world’s most innovative countries for public transit.
A car and a bus compete for space in Turku, Finland.
A car and a bus compete for space in Turku, Finland.Flickr/Henry Hagnäs

The Finnish city of Turku is offering drivers a pretty tempting deal: apply for a bus pass and you get a chunk of free travel.

So keen is Finland’s third-largest city to get drivers off the road that it’s offering €20 ($22) of free fares to any new applicant for a touch-in, touch-out bus pass—provided they also possess a driving license. The hope is that once their free travel is used up, drivers will top up their cards with fresh funds, and stay on the bus. If people shift even some of their regular journeys off the road and onto public transit, the potential for slashing congestion and emissions could be considerable.