Aas: Free public transportation is a prime example of inclusive city mobility

By implementing a transport policy which favors environmentally friendly forms of mobility, especially free public transport, Tallinn hopes to strengthen its prospects for winning the title of European Green Capital 2018. Such was the message sent today to the experts of EUROCITIES Mobility Forum by the deputy mayor of Tallinn Taavi Aas.

Speaking on the last working day of the Forum, Aas said that in order to ensure a friendly living environment and people’s possibility of movement in Tallinn in the long-term, the residents of the city have determined to make public transport more competitive compared to the use of private vehicles. 

To make public transport more attractive, Tallinn has created and expanded the system of prioritization of public transport vehicles and a network of lanes of public transport vehicles, intensified driving schedules, upgraded the public transportation vehicle park and built more bus stops. Convenience is also added to connecting rides, lower floor vehicles have been purchased and a real-time information system at stops and on the Internet has been established. 

"Implemented measures have resulted in the steady growth of the number of journeys made by public transport vehicles," said the deputy mayor. "In September 2014, the number of passengers increased approximately by 8% compared to April 2013, when the use of ID tickets was terminated. From 28 October 2013, the city introduced additional compensation of journeys on all the trains within the city limits, as a result of which the number of train journeys of the residents of Tallinn increased sevenfold. 

According to Aas, the number of those registered as residents of Tallinn has also increased. At the end of 2012, before the implementation of the free public transport service, Tallinn had about 416,000 residents. As of today, the figure is more than 438,000, which also means additional income tax receipts in the city budget. 

Since the beginning of the year 2015, Tallinn has started to implement the next major project related to trams - a tramway to the airport. In addition to the airport, the tramway will connect two major shopping centers, and the office and residential area of Ülemiste City. In the same area is planned the building of the Rail Baltic, railway station/ public transport center. The tram line to the airport should be completed by the end of 2017.