Tallinn deputy mayor: We must have bus lines that people actually use

Vladimir Svet
Vladimir Svet Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Several stops have been removed from the capital's bus routes because they are rarely used but compromise is still possible if necessary, said Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Vladimir Svet (Center) on Wednesday, in response to criticisms of changes to line 5.

Yesterday, Tallinn announced that 11 bus routes will be altered in a bid to decentralize the network and remove buses from the city center.

Changes to line 5 (Manniku - Metsakooli tee) caused the biggest criticism. The route will no longer start or end at Metsakooli tee, and the stop has been removed from the line along with several others. Instead, it will do so at Priisle tee creating a connection between Lasnamäe, Pirita, and the city center.

"The most criticism comes from the fact that Metsakooli stop will no longer have a direct connection to the city center, but it is worth noting that in reality, these stops are extremely underused," Svet told ERR, adding changes have been made based on passenger numbers.

The data, which is collected when people enter and exit buses, shows 20 people per day got on or off at Nurmiku tee in February and 25 in May. At Metsakooli tee it was 69 in February and 218 in May. The number of bus departures per day was 95 in February and 83 in May.

There are no statistics for Helmiku tee during this time as the stop was closed, Svet said. Additionally, the bus only travels in one direction on this street.

Changes to bus line 5. Three stops in Pirita will be removed from the route. Source: Tallinn City Government

The deputy mayor said the changes take the route to where there is higher passenger demand and removing little-used stops will cut the journey time by almost 5 minutes.

Pirita District elder: We cannot leave one district in a worse situation

Pirita district elder Kaido Saarniit (Center) told ERR he is also against the new route. The councilor plans to discuss the matter with Svet and the Transport Authority.

"My view at the moment is that we cannot leave the district worse off than it was. As it stands, we would be making these people's connection to the city center worse, and that is certainly not a solution," Saarniit told ERR.

"There are a number of options on the table, but this one, which will be introduced from August 1, does not satisfy me as mayor of the district," he added.

Svet said compromises are possible as routes can be altered fairly easily.

"However, we need to make sure that we have connections that people actually use. One of the possible options is to maintain the number 5 bus service on the outbound route as it currently exists. We will certainly be able to adjust the route in the future, if necessary, should demand increase," said Svet.

Buses in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The deputy mayor said there is no great demand between Lasnamäe and Pirita but it still exists.

"It is also probably higher in the summer, or beach season, compared to the winter months. The demand is much higher for the possibility to get from the end of Lasnamäe through Pirita to the city center and elsewhere," he said.

Svet said the city is constantly analyzing the transport network and this set of changes will not be the last.

Analysis is based on data from green card validations, sensors installed above the bus doors, the tax office, and land use.

"In the longer term, there is a clear need to improve connections between neighborhoods, so that people can get from one neighborhood to another more easily without having to go through the city center or sit around. I would also like to stress that urban transport is not just about buses and that we are planning changes to the whole system, including trams, trolleys, and trains," Svet added.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: