Mobility statistics: Domestic travel within Estonia as active as last year

The beach at Narva-Jõesuu.
The beach at Narva-Jõesuu. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

While people are moving around within Estonia this summer as actively as they did in the summer of last year, more people this year prefer the country's north coast to the south, it appears from a mobility survey by the state-owned company AS Teede Tehnokeskus based on data for June.

Tanel Jairus, traffic specialist at AS Teede Tehnokeskus, said in June this year 14 percent more cars moved between Tallinn and Narva than in the same month in 2019. 

"There are many holiday spots along that route and there's a clear visible increase at weekends, but also during peak hours. It seems that coronavirus changed the mobility habits of residents of the capital city in such way that they spend less time in office and more in holiday homes near Tallinn or on the North Coast," Jairus said. 

"During the quarantine, the frequency of movement declined by one-third," the traffic specialist said, adding that frequency of movement recovered during May. 

"At present, people are moving around as actively as they did last year and are not sitting at home. Statistics shows that traffic has grown in the direction of Narva and the north coast in general. Traffic towards Pärnu and Kuressaare is on a par with last year, while South Estonia has declined," he said. 

"Interestingly, people travel on the Tallinn-Tartu-Võru-Luhamaa highway less this year. The reduction is more or less of the same scale as the increase in the direction of Narva. It is particularly evident in weekend traffic, which is indicative of leisure time habits," Jairus said. 

Speaking of the economy he said the movement statistics for vans and trucks, which has not decreased, offers a positive indication. 

"A reduction in the movement of trucks is a sign of danger. During the last crisis we could clearly see that where cars were still moving in previous volumes, a decline in freight haulage heralded a downturn. During the quarantine in March and April, the frequency of movement of trucks practically did not change and is on a par with last year also now," Jairus added.

Teede Tehnokeskus is a state-owned provider of road engineering and technical consultation services.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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