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Statistics: Public transport by all types fell 60 percent y-o-y to Q2 2020

Interior of a long-distance bus (photo is illustrative).
Interior of a long-distance bus (photo is illustrative). Source: ERR

Public transport on land, sea and air saw a 60 percent fall on year to the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), the result of the coronavirus pandemic. The fall on the previous quarter was nearly as high, according to state agency Statistics Estonia.

A total of 22 million people traveled on all forms of ticketed transport provided by Estonian companies in Q2 2020.

Statistics Estonia analyst Birgitta Ojamaa said that the closure of borders during the emergency situation which ran from March to May affected all modes of transport.

"The number of air and sea transport users decreased the most, as this is where many international trips are made, which were now canceled," Ojamaa said via a press release.


Air transport saw the largest fall; Estonian air transport companies carried 15,900 passengers in Q2 2020, 91 percent down on year at a time when the majority of flights were canceled.


Bus passenger, including long-distance routes, saw a 58 percent drop on year to 17 million.

When broken down to sectors, the largest fall was on international routes, again as borders closed, at 96 percent on year.

Domestic charter routes saw a 69 percent fall, city routes 61 percent, long-distance (city to city) routes 61 percent, and county and passengers on rural municipality routes fell by 35 percent.


The number of rail passengers fell by 55 percent compared to the second quarter of the previous year and totaled 978,000. As Estonia's state border with Russia was closed, there was no international passenger transport by rail.


Transport by sea was 71 percent less than in the same period the previous year, with 765,200 passengers.

329,000 passengers took international ship routes in Q2 2020, an 82.5 percent fall, while domestic routes (e.g. island links) fell 43 percent to 408,900.

At the peak of the pandemic, ferry transport to Finland and other countries was barred to all except essential service providers, and only residents of the islands of Saaremaa, Muhu and Hiiumaa could travel to and from the mainland.

Inland waterway transport fell by over half in Q2 2020, to 5,700 passengers.


Overall, passenger turnover with Estonian transport companies decreased 81 percent on year to 308.5 million passenger-kilometers, where one passenger-kilometer equates to, as its name suggests, the transport of one passenger over a distance of one kilometer.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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