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Author Topic: Estonia - rolling out free public transport nationwide  (Read 322 times)
grahame
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« on: May 22, 2018, 02:29:57 pm »

From an article at City Lab - free public transport for local residents throughout the country.

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Estonia is already a world leader in free public transit: In 2013, all public transit in its capital, Tallinn, became free to local residents (but not tourists or other visitors, even those from other parts of the country). The new national free-ride scheme with extend this model even further, making all state-run bus travel in rural municipalities free and extending cost-free transit out from the capital into other regions. 

The plan will not, however, extend Tallinn’s existing free public transit policies to other Estonian cities, and it also won’t make riding Tallinn transit free to visitors (at least, not initially). So while most of the country’s land area and population—which is overwhelmingly concentrated around Tallinn—should get fare-free daily lives, it’s not precisely the case that no Estonian will ever buy a bus ticket in their own country again.

Still, it’s a remarkable plan. While Wales in the U.K. (a larger, more populous place than Estonia) already offers free bus travel on weekends, no country has yet tried to abolish fares all day, every day, across such a large area. And the implications of such a model are vast. Free buses for all could lead to a massive democratization of mobility for Estonians, meaning that travel costs paid at point of use need no longer be factored into many people’s monthly budgeting. And while outsiders might assume the government’s costs to be prohibitive, it won’t actually be that expensive to implement.

Text a bit 'flowery' in style for me - but I think I understand the concept and what the article is saying.

So is this something we should see used as an example for the UK ... or for cities with congestion problems?   Or in rural areas where the cost of collecting bus fares is more than the fares collected sometimes?   Should the ENCTS scheme be moved down from pension age by 5 years every year, until there's a card for everyone by the middle of the next decade?

Before someone else asks .. "Ooze gonna pay4 it"  Cheesy


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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2018, 04:50:22 pm »

From an article at City Lab - free public transport for local residents throughout the country.

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Before someone else asks .. "Ooze gonna pay4 it"  Cheesy





……….or as they say down Tallinn way, Кто будет за это платить?
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 07:39:13 pm »

Two minor points.
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The rural parts of this former Soviet state, which joined the E.U. in 2003,
May 2004 actually.

And...
From an article at City Lab - free public transport for local residents throughout the country.

Quote
Before someone else asks .. "Ooze gonna pay4 it"  Cheesy





……….or as they say down Tallinn way, Кто будет за это платить?
I don't think Russian is either the most common or the most popular language in Estonia.

As for the idea itself, IIUC it's rural buses that are being made free to use (those in Tallinn being already free) so city buses continue to charge fares. And it's not clear from the article whether free for residents means strictly local residents or all Estonian citizens. I've never been to Estonia but generally speaking Eastern Europe has far greater rural-urban difference in incomes, standards of living and employment opportunities than the UK.
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martyjon
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 08:20:39 pm »

A few years ago I visited Iceland and spent a number of days in the town of Akureyri where the bus service was free to everyone. There were only six routes serving the townsfolk which ran from about 06:00 to 20:00 daily. This was a godsend to me as the hotel I was billetted in was up a flight of 120+ steps from the towns central area and then all uphill for about a mile to the hotel itself but the bus service stopped right outside the hotel and the bus was better acclimatized to the hillclimb than I was.

From Wikipedia ;

Bus

SBA-Norđurleiđ (Icelandic Bus Company - northern route) is an Akureyri-based company that provides a long-distance bus service to the town. Local bus services within Akureyri are provided by the SVA (Akureyri Bus Company), which does not charge fares. The cessation of fares in 2008 resulted in an increase of 130% in passenger numbers compared to the previous year when fares were charged.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 08:32:59 pm by martyjon » Logged
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