Taisto Liinid bus company closes long-distance routes

Rising fuel costs and reduced passenger numbers have forced Taisto Liinid bus company to suspend several long-distance lines, management said on Wednesday.

The Tartu-Viljandi-Pärnu line stopped on August 15 and the Pärnu-Tallinn and Tallinn-Paide-Viljandi-Valga routes will be suspended from August 22.

Company manager Taimo Kängsepp said the company had been severely hit by the pandemic and they do not foresee the coming winter to be better.

"In the bus industry, it is the volumes of activity that matter, and we cannot bet on the recovery of former volumes. In the meantime, the world and people's habits have changed," he said.

"The price of diesel fuel is at least twice as expensive as it was two summers ago. In the upcoming winter, people will spend a large amount of their income on filling their bellies and keeping rooms warm, so we cannot predict an increase in the number of bus passengers," Kängsepp added.

He added that, despite transport being severely impacted by coronavirus, laws around the sector have not been updated.

The manager said buses will continue to run between Võru-Tallinn and Võru-Tartu for the local community.

"Certainly, my decision will worsen the availability of public transport in some regions of Estonia, while I believe that there are local bus companies that can open additional bus lines," Kängsepp said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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