Ministry Sets Sights on Uniting Public Transport Ticket Systems Regionally, Not Nationally
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has said it has analyzed the possibility of a nationwide public transport ticket system, but due to high costs will instead focus on developing regionally unified systems.
As reported by uudised.err.ee, Toomas Haidak, head of the ministry's Transport Development and Investments Department, said inter-regional travel on public transport accounts for only 5 percent of all trips.
He said that the initial costs of a unified system would be high as all buses and trains would have to be fitted with necessary equipment that would be connected to a real-time system. Fitting the 900 long-distance buses would alone cost 2.4 million euros.
First steps at county and city levels
Pärnu County has been in the process of setting up such a scheme within its own borders for the past three years.
Deputy Mayor of Pärnu, Romek Kosenkranius, said that only a few municipalities have shown interest towards the project, as financing levels differ and poorer local governments have voiced concerns that they will have to find additional funds.
Kosenkranius's counterpart in Tartu, Raimond Tamme, said that there are no political obstacles, only technical ones, as an electronic ticket sales system would have to be developed.
He said that Tartu is currently making preparations to cross over to an e-ticket system for the city's buses.
Tallinn switched to electronic tickets a year ago, simultaneously to implementing free public transport within its borders for registered city residents.