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Public transport popularity is on the rise again 

Public transport popularity is on the rise again 

The number of journeys by public transport in Tallinn has started to increase again. The number of journeys has increased by more than 30% when comparing the first months of 2023 with the first months of 2022. 

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart said that free public transport is a necessary support measure for people coping with several simultaneous crises and the growing number of passengers shows its importance. “On the one hand, it is a great help for families with low income, while at the same time it offers an alternative to car users. This is especially true in a situation where increased fuel prices are no longer affordable to many”, explained Kõlvart. 

“Nearly 96,3 million trips were made by public transport in 2022, which was 27% more than in 2021. However, if we compare the data of January last year with the data of the first two months of this year, the number of validated journeys has increased from almost six million to nine million, in other words the increase has been 33-34% compared to last year,” added Kõlvart. 

Environmentally friendly public transport has been a clear priority for Tallinn. In this respect the purchase of electric buses and the construction of charging points, as well as the extension of the tram line to the port are certainly significant. The city is looking to acquire new trams and electric buses in the coming years, with procurement preparations starting next year. 

In 2022, public transport service levels were improved in several urban areas. Several routes were extended with additional departures on weekdays and weekends. Normal buses were replaced by larger-capacity articulated buses on routes with higher demand. On some routes, the service period was also extended.
The City of Tallinn is served by 80 public transport lines (72 bus lines, four tram lines and four trolleybus lines). There are 441 buses, 47 trams and 32 trolleybuses serving the city during rush hour. The city’s public transport service currently uses 545 buses, 350 of which are gas-powered and 44 hybrid. There are also 65 trams and 44 trolleybuses. 

In Tallinn's 2023 city budget, an initial €120.3 million has been earmarked for bus services, plus an additional €300 000 for a pilot project for overnight buses during the summer months.