The European Commission has rejected an idea to provide free Interrail travel passes to all EU citizens on their 18th birthday, the Financial Times reported. The EU’s transport chief Violeta Bulc in October 2016 signalled that he was open to the idea of free rail travel for youths. But after a cost analysis, the commission decided to set up a smaller fund that provides travel budgets for schools.
EU officials said that the plans would unfairly benefit some young people over others, as those not on the European mainland would also need to pay for a ferry to join the rail network. They added that it would give an unfair boost to young people rich enough to afford the accommodation charges associated with the trip.
Instead, the commission will begin a pilot project worth €2.5m a year which aims to offer a general travel budget to selected schools in member states.
Source: Financial Times: "Interrail birthday gift for 18-year-olds hits Brussels buffers", February 7, 2017
Posted by: Katrin Schauer