Cooperation deal fails between Tallinn, Helsinki transport ticket project

Plans to sell tickets for public transport through Tallinn and Helsinki's apps have run into problems after the Helsinki City Transport Authority failed to include Estonian tickets in its app and a complaint was made to the competition authority.

Plans for tickets to be sold for each city through Helsinki's and Tallinn's public transport apps were supposed to be rolled out in March. For Estonians, or users of the app, this will soon be the case as long as a test phase is successful, ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported on Tuesday.

But plans for Finns to buy tickets in Tallinn has hit a stumbling block after Helsinki City Transport Authority decided not to include public transport tickets for Tallinn in its ticket app, even though it had previously agreed to do so.

Mari Flink, head of the Department of Public Transport at Helsinki, said selling Helsinki's own tickets is a statutory obligation and there is now confusion about selling other company's tickets. "We thought it would be better if we did not implement other ticket products in our application until we were clear," said Flink.

The Finnish start-up company MaaS Global has also filed a complaint with the Finnish Competition Authority. Their business model is based on a multi-modal subscription service for service in cities which includes traveling by public transport, taxis and rental cars.

Tram in Helsinki. Source: Antti Kolppo / Yle

When asked the company did not give a clear answer as to why the Helsinki Public Transport Agency's choosing to sell Tallinn tickets affected them, AK reported.

In Tallinn, the decision of the Helsinki Public Transport Authority to withdraw from the project was viewed with amazement and resentment. However, the cooperation project between the two cities may still have room for improvement.

"The Finns would like us to let them use their travel cards on the Estonian side," said Tiit Laiksoo, a senior specialist at the Tallinn Transport Department. He said this would require software development on the Estonian side, which would be ready by spring next year.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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