Supreme Court: Swiping Card Required in Order to Ride Public Transport for Free in Tallinn ({{commentsTotal}})


Free public transport in Tallinn does not mean hop on and off without swiping a card, the Supreme Court decided today.

A woman who had been fined 16 euros by the city's municipal police force should have logged her ride by swiping her personalized farecard when she boarded in the February incident. It was not enough for her to present ID and her personalized farecard to inspectors.

The county court had previously sided with the defendant, who was a Tallinn resident but had not swiped her card upon boarding.

Tallinn switched over to free public transport for residents on January 1. Residents need only to pay a one-off fee of 2 euros for a personalized green farecard. But the personal farecard system, which can be used to log data on ridership, was criticized before and after the switch.

In its decision, the Supreme Court stuck to a literal reading of the Public Transport Act, while Harju County Court had said it could be concluded by logic based on her ID card and personalised farecard, both of which the woman had, that she was eligible to ride for free.