Free public transport in Estonia

This 2019 video says Free transport was rolled out to 11 of Estonia’s 15 counties on Sunday.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Car use plummets amid free travel fever in Tallinn

Thursday 04 April 2013

Three months after launching a free travel initiative, city officials in Estonia‘s capital Tallinn declared the experiment a success today.

Earlier this year Tallinn became the world’s first capital to introduce free public transport for its residents.

All that’s required is a transit pass showing you’re a resident.

The scheme is designed to reduce congestion and pollution while alleviating expenses for the city’s poor.

Deputy Mayor Taavi Aas says the experiment, which will cost the city about €12 million (£10m) annually, has surpassed expectations.

Passenger numbers are up 10 per cent while the number of cars on the streets has fallen by 15 per cent.

The programme is expected to boost Tallinn’s tax revenue because the registration requirement is winning the city more taxable residents.

More than 5,000 new Tallinn residents have been registered since January 1.

With 1,000 new residents paying €1m (£851,0000) in city taxes, current registration rates should offset the programme’s costs, said Mr Aas.

14 thoughts on “Free public transport in Estonia

  1. If it works, and apparently it works very well, we should all engage in this. The problem will be “who pays for the free transportation” and “who saves from the cars being off the road?”
    An interesting business case to be solved.


    • As for paying for the transportation, the article says:

      “With 1,000 new residents paying €1m (£851,0000) in city taxes, current registration rates should offset the programme’s costs, said Mr Aas.”

      The cars being off the road in Tallinn save the car owners money. It also makes for less traffic congestion problems in the city. Tallinn was originally built in the Middle Ages, with narrow streets, as there were no cars then yet.


      • “Tallinn was originally built in the Middle Ages, with narrow streets, as there were no cars then yet.” Ermm… the parts that were built in the middle ages are closed to traffic…

        Traffic congestion in Tallinn is a problem, but not when compared to most European capitals.


        • Yes, if the medieval center is closed to (car) traffic, then it can only be reached by public transport.

          That is a bit of a difference with Hasselt in Belgium, where cars are banned in the WHOLE city, not in a relatively small part; and the rise in the use of public transport has been higher in Hasselt than in Tallinn.

          Maybe the capitals where congerstion is still worse than in Tallinn should study Tallinn?


  2. Pingback: Tallinn in Estonia è appena diventata la prima capitale ad offrire ai propri residenti trasporto pubblico gratuito. - Risveglio di una Dea

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  4. Hey, i am from Estonia, and what they don’t mention is that the ticket prices went up for everybody else,.. and now people have to buy a plastic card (extra money for the gov). and the taxi drivers are now mad as well…
    a good idea but not so well in practice…


    • “ticket prices went up for everybody else”, meaning non-residents of Tallinn?

      The article says that the car congestion problem has become less. Tallinn is the first national capital in the world where this idea was applied. But before that, as the Wikipedia article says, it was applied elsewhere. Like Hasselt in Belgium, where it is a success.


      • Yes, because not only have the people to buy the plastic card thing now, they also have to buy a ticket which is more expensive..
        I have not been back home for some months now, personally i mean.. but what this article says and what is written for the promotion is another thing..:D just wanted to point that out.


  5. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thanks Shaun! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Free public transport in Luxembourg | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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