Council chair: Tallinn should ban gas, diesel powered taxis

Tallinn City Council Chairman Tiit Terik (Centre).
Tallinn City Council Chairman Tiit Terik (Centre). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

In the next few years, the City of Tallinn should outlaw the use of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles for the provision of taxi and ride-hailing services, Tallinn City Council Chairman Tiit Terik (Centre) said at a conference on Tuesday.

The goal of the ban would be a cleaner urban environment and achieving climate neutrality by 2050, spokespeople for the city council said.

"Several European countries and cities are taking steps to end the sale and in some places also the use of vehicles with an internal combustion engine 15-20 years from no," Terik said in his remarks at a vision conference held at Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel).

Tallinn should follow suit, he continued, as when one thinks about clean air in the city, they also need to consider taxing and gradually phasing out vehicles that are polluting the environment.

"That process should be preceded by a facilitation of the use of electric or hybrid cars," he said. "The establishment of an express charging network is also a precondition for the triumph of electric vehicles."

Terik pointed out that diesel vehicles already aren't welcome in parts of Berlin, and that London has established a congestion charge zone in the city center along with a broader low emission zone, where a fee is charged for motorists driving older and more polluting vehicles.

Tallinn has set its sights on making public transport diesel-free by 2025 and switching fully to electric-powered public transport by 2035, the council chairman said. The same goal should be adopted with regard to taxis as well. Of course, this cannot happen in the span of just a year or two; rather, a transition period of a reasonable length should be introduced under which gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles would be phased out of taxi service by a certain year.

The same requirements should apply to all possible ride-hailing platforms in order to avoid putting taxi companies at a disadvantage, he added.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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