Norwegian city to make all public transport free

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Norwegian city to make all public transport free
The new measure is set to cover bus, boat, and train transport in the municipalities of Stavanger, Sandnes, Sola, and Randaberg. Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash

Public transport in one of Norway's largest cities, Stavanger, will be free from July 1st.


Stavanger plans to spend 200 million kroner to make public transport free for everyone who lives in the municipality.

The measure will apply to bus, boat, and train transport, the municipality announced in a press release on Monday. Currently, a single ticket in Stavanger costs 46 kroner and a monthly ticket sets travellers back 630 kroner. 

The decision was made after the Labour Party, the People's Party - FNB, the Greens, the Reds, the Centre Party, and the Socialist Left Party reached an agreement on the issue at the local level.

Fully financed public transport

The parties announced that the change means that Stavanger will become the first large Norwegian city to fully finance public transport for its residents.

"For many, the car is and will still be necessary, but many people are in a situation where they can get by without a car or cut the use of a second car in their household.

"We hope that the free bus ensures that more people try to travel more by public transport in their everyday lives, preferably in combination with increased bicycle use," Mayor Kari Nessa Nordtun said.

Due to population growth and a local business boom, Stavanger has experienced an increase in car traffic in recent years.

The municipality aims to have at least 70 percent of all passenger journeys taking place on foot, by bicycle, or public transport.

"That is why it is important that powerful measures are taken to cover more people who can cycle or use public transport in the Stavanger region," Nordtun said.


Who will be covered by the measure?

Public transport will be free for all residents of Stavanger throughout Nord-Jæren, that is, the municipalities of Stavanger, Sandnes, Sola, and Randaberg, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports.

For now, the measure only applies to registered residents of Stavanger municipality, but Stavanger's Labour Party encourages the neighbouring municipalities to follow suit.

Passengers will need to prove that they are residents of Stavanger municipality when approached by a ticket inspector, the Labour Party explained.

The final cost of the measure and technical clarifications are scheduled to be adopted at the municipal council meeting on Monday, June 19th.

Mayor of Stavanger Kari Nessa Nordtun has told Norwegian newspaper VG that money has been set aside for free public transport in 2023 and 2024, however the situation could change following local elections later this year.


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