Free public transport for Tallinners
Starting from 2013 will have free public transport for its residents, as a result of a referendum held in March this year.
Entitled to 100% tickets discount will be all registered residents of Tallinn and students below 19 years old, regardless of their nationality and place of residence. Fees will still apply to tourists and passengers from districts outside of Tallinn. This criterium is to encourage commuting Estonians to register and pay taxes in Tallinn.
The head of City Council of Tallinn, Toomas Vitsut called the new regulation 'historical' and expressed his opinion that such activities serving the good of Tallinn's residents are not a waste of money. The city's authorities claim free public transport will cause the decrease in traffic and facilitate mobility for less substantial residents, however the opponents point that the idea is populist and will paralyze public transport utterly.
With the population of nearly 400,000, Tallinn will become the first big European city to offer free public transport to its residents. Such a solution is already in operation in Mariehamn, a capital of Finnish Aland Isles and Swedish district of Avesta.