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City Promises Free Rides During Transport Referendum

A man and his bus.
A man and his bus. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Tallinn City Council has decided that riding buses, trams and trolleys will be free of charge on March 24 and 25 - the two last days of the referendum on introducing free public transport for all city residents.

According to the Deputy Mayor Taavi Aas, the move will ensure that residents, particularly those struggling with financial difficulties, will be able to cast their votes at polling stations.

During the referendum, conducted March 19 to 25, residents of Tallinn will be asked whether they support the introduction of free public transport on city-owned lines starting from 2013.

City officials point out that the move would reduce the use of private transport in Tallinn and decrease emissions, which would bring the nation closer to meeting its EU carbon reduction goals. It would also ease the strain on city streets, thereby cutting traffic congestion and lowering the number of accidents, according to the city.

In order to initiate the plan, the city would have to find an additional 20 million euros, 40 percent of the money necessary to maintain the city's bus, trolley and tram routes.


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