What the papers say: Accessible Tartu, baby boom in Paide

Estonian newspapers (photo is illustrative).
Estonian newspapers (photo is illustrative). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

On Monday, Nov. 11, in addition to several other major topics, the papers in Estonia also wrote about Tartu being shortlisted for an accessibility award, Telia clients now being able to use their phones as transport cards, a shoplifting incident in Rakvere, and a relative baby boom in Paide forcing the mayor's traditional reception to relocate.

Tartu shortlisted for accessible city award

Tartu has been named among the six finalists for the European Commission's Access City Award 2020, regional paper Tartu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

The top three cities, to be chosen at the European level, will be announced at the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference in Brussels on Nov. 29.

Acknowledging that being shortlisted for the prize was an accomplishment in its own right Tartu Deputy Mayor Mihkel Lees (Reform) said that it was important to the city that both the home environments and the public space support the activities of people with disabilities as well as the elderly, citing examples such as low-floor buses being used on Tartu's public bus routes as well as increasing the accessibility of public institutions.

Winners of the European Commission's award are expected to continue improving accessibility both in their own city as well as in Europe, where they are obligated to share their experiences in the matter.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the title, this year's winning cities will receive a cash prize as well.

Phone as transport card

Estonian telecom Telia announced on Monday that riders can now add their public transport card to their mTasku mobile wallet app and use their phone to validate their ride on public transport in Tallinn, online portal geenius.ee writes (link in Estonian).

For now at least, however, the catch is that in order to use the service, your phone must be equipped with an NFC SIM card, which in Estonia is currently only offered by Telia, at a price of €2.50 through February and €5.00 after that.

Regardless of whether one already possesses a physical public transport card or not, activating the card in mTasku will cost users €2.00, as much as a physical card does, plus a service fee of €0.32.

The NFC SIM card can still be used to validate rides on public transport even if the user's phone is dead or not connected to the internet, so long as mTasku is set as the phone's default payment app.

Shoplifter leaves behind stolen goods

A shoplifter stole various goods from an Aldari grocery store on the corner of Tartu tänav and Lille tänav in Rakvere on Sunday before fleeing the scene, regional paper Virumaa Teataja writes (link in Estonian).

Police who had sped to the scene later found a backpack left at the store filled with the stolen goods.

According to a spokesperson for the East Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), the goods have since been returned to the store and the suspect identified.

Mayor's baby reception outgrows town hall

The traditional mayor's reception of the town of Paide's youngest new citizens is taking place at the Chamber Hall of Paide Music and Theatre House instead of its usual location of Paide Town Hall, regional paper Järva Teataja writes (link in Estonian).

Typically some 35-45 babies are invited each semiannual reception, but this time, the mayor is expecting 71 young guests.

The youngest babies invited to Monday's reception are Brittel and Morris, who were born on Oct. 2; the oldest is Annabel, who was born on April 2.

Mayor Priit Värk will present each baby with a silver spoon, the children's book "Pisike puu" and a town citizen certificate.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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