The redevelopment of the Tallinn Baltic Station (Balti jaam) area has caused tensions between the non-profit organization North-Estonia Public Transport Center and the city of Tallinn. The organization is concerned that the city's plans may result in the elimination of the regional bus terminal at the main railway station in Tallinn; the city denies any such intention.
Andrus Nilisk, managing director of the North-Estonian Public Transport Center, wrote in a letter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in mid-November that the city of Tallinn lacks a clear vision for the future of the Baltic station area, putting the continuation of the regional bus terminal located currently at the premises at risk.
"Tallinn Municipality promised to prepare a preliminary design in 2021, but as of today, it has not been completed," he said.
"As far as we are aware, the various departments of the Tallinn municipal government lack a common vision for the Baltic station area, which makes the future of the regional bus terminal [now located near a parking zone] uncertain," Nilisk wrote to the ministry.
Nilisk explained that a portion of the area is planned to be transformed into a green urban space. He told ERR that the organization is concerned about losing its Tallinn Baltic train station location and this would be a significant loss for both city and neighboring residents.
"When you look at the big picture, the Baltic station is a great hub because it is in the city center and has all of the necessary public transportation links," Nilisk said.
"We all value time: if a regional bus takes a person only to the outskirts of Tallinn, from where they must take public transportation to the city center, then traveling by car would become quickly less expensive for them. It is in our best interests to encourage the use of public transportation and connections should be quick and convenient," he added.
Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center) said that "Tallinn has commissioned new designs for the area specifically in mind with the desires of the Public Transport Center," adding that the Center should focus on its core activities, namely the development of regional public transportation.
The Public Transport Center also opposes the transfer of Suurtüki 7 site, which is currently owned by the Ministry of the Interior but could be transferred to the City of Tallinn. The center expects to retain it in order to "maintain service standards and optimal costs in the county's public transport organization."
The Tallinn city has issued a call for proposals for the development of a conceptual solution for a public transport terminal at the Baltic Station, which includes the following land parcels: Rannamäe tee 1, Rannamäe tee 5, Suurtüki 7, Põhja puiestee T6, Suurtüki tänav T3, Suurtüki tänav 8a and Suurtüki tänav 12.
Editor: Kristina Kersa