Long-distance bus line Lux Express is reducing its schedule to 75 percent of regular departures from Monday, citing falling passenger numbers on the back of increased coronavirus restrictions.
Lux Express CEO Ingmar Roos said that their passenger numbers started to decline tangibly last week even before the latest round of restrictions entered into force, which happened on Thursday, adding that this trend was likely to continue.
"However, as society we must make difficult decisions in order that the day when we can resume operation on the full scale, both in Estonia and elsewhere, will arrive sooner," Roos said.
The cuts cover only routes inside Estonia; since Latvia effectively closed its border last month, routes to Riga and beyond were already caught by that move.
The reduced schedule runs from Monday, March 15 until the end of April, as things stand. The affected (i.e. canceled) routes, with their times, are:
- Tallinn-Tartu: 7:00, 8:00, 14:30, 18:30, 22:00
- Tartu-Tallinn: 7:00, 7:30, 9:00, 14:30, 15:30, 21:00
- Tallinn-Voru: 15:30, 20:00
- Voru-Tallinn: 9:45, 18:15
- Tallinn-Pärnu: 14:00, 19:00
- Pärnu-Tallinn: 7:00, 10:30
- Haapsalu-Tallinn: 9:00
- Tallinn-Haapsalu: 10:00
- Kuressaare-Tallinn: 6:00
- Tallinn-Kuressaare: 7:55
- Narva-Tallinn: 19:30
- Tallinn-Narva: 17:15
- Pärnu-Tartu: 7:45
- Tartu-Pärnu: 8:45
Roos said Lux Express was preserving morning, noon and evening departures to preserve flexibility, adding many of the canceled routes run on weekends-only, meaning the cull might not be as bad as it looks.
The situation will be reviewed regularly, and, if needed, routes will be reopened – or other routes closed.
Editor: Andrew Whyte