The 259,000 euros allocated by the city for the free public transportation referendum is a waste of taxpayer's money, said Ants Leemets, vice chairman of the Reform Party faction in Tallinn City Council.
During the referendum, to be conducted March 19 to 25, residents of Tallinn will be asked whether they support free public transportation on city-operated routes starting from 2013.
At the outset of the project both Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar and Deputy Mayor Taavi Aas assured that the cost of the survey would not exceed 31,000 euros, said Leemets, adding that already then the figure sounded too high.
According to Leemets, taxpayer money is obviously used for Centre Party's propaganda purposes in this case.
Last year the city invested 228,000 euros for the repairs and construction of kindergartens, he said. "It is an outrage that a plebiscite costs more than investments in nursery schools.“
As an example of the city's inflexible transport policies, Leemets quoted repeated requests by residents of the Nõmme district to restore the number 23 bus route. So far, however, the city has turned down the plea citing the lack of 98,000 euros necessary to reopen the route, said Leemets.