TS Laevad chief suggests vehicle-only tickets for island ferries
Indrek Randveer, head of Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) subsidiary TS Laevad, has suggested ditching on-foot passenger tickets for ferries plying their trade between the mainland and Estonia's largest islands, retaining only vehicle tickets, portal Delfi writes.
The Transport Administration (Transpordiamet) is preparing for a new round of ferry procurements, in 2026, for the links to Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, Delfi notes on its Ärileht page (link in Estonian) and is sounding out potential bidders for their ideas on what might need changing.
The current operator is TS Laevad, and is, no pun intended, a flagship component of the Port of Tallinn's business, Delfi writes – despite soaring fuel prices, which are covered by the state in any case, the subsidiary made a profit of €8.2 million on a €35 million turnover last year.
Randveer says, however, that the business is still a highly risky one for TS Laevad – should it lose the next procurement, it will have to find a new use for the four, relatively new vessels it operates on the island lines.
Randveer was unable to pledge that TS Laevad's bid would be the cheapest, ahead of the next procurement round, but added he would propose a streamlining of the ticketing system, to remove the current system whereby dozens of different ticket categories are available at differing prices, and replace it with a vehicle-only ticket, ie. drivers of vehicles and their passengers would be the only category admitted
"There has been plenty of development in the world, leaning towards no passenger-based tickets, only vehicle tickets. /.../ The business model needs to be set up by looking at how many people are in a vehicle on average, and pricing based on that," he said.
The state has sent invites to over 30 firms, to take part in a roundtable which will see terms of the new procurement round clarified, though only two companies have taken part in the two discussions held so far.
The current procurement term ends in October 2026.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Delfi Ärileht