Tallinn residents fast adapting to new public transport routes

Buses in Tallinn.
Buses in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) took to the streets of Tallinn to take the temperature on how new bus routes unveiled earlier in the week, nine of them in total, had gone down with the public.

While teething problems, such as unclear timetables and temporary bus stop locations, were in evidence, most local residents AK spoke to were happy enough with the changes, though these might be bewildering for anyone who does not read or speak Estonian – foreign tourists for instance – since key information is provided in Estonian only.

One local resident, Maria, said: "Everything is comprehensible to me, in fact all the changes have been somewhat of a plus. I need 15 minutes to walk then I can take the No. 8 bus to the Balti jaam train station, for instance, or to Õismäe, via the Hippodroom."

Another, Krista, said: "Yesterday I became acquainted with the new Number 8 line, I went from one end to the other. It's not a bad route, though I used to travel via the Number 5 route."

One issue for foreign tourists and others who do not speak or read Estonian is that information boards are not provided in any language other than Estonian, AK reported.

Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Vladimir Svet (Center) said the changeover had gone ahead without major issues.

"There were some small glitches here and there, but these have been generally eliminated," Svet said, adding that the new system will be monitored through the month of August and, if necessary, public transport schedules will be adjusted.

The glitches mentioned included the replacement of around 200 timetables; many travelers have also been confused by the renamed, often temporary stops – given the amount of roadwork being carried out in the city.

Svet added that from the start of fall, these temporary stops will start to diminish in number, particularly in the southern ends of Tallinn's public transport routes.

The overall changes including the Number 8 route will remain in place at least until the end of the year, however.

Despite some protests, the new Number 8 bus will continue its current route; Tallinn City Government recently did an about-face on the Number 5 route, which will remain as is. Local residents had complained about proposed changes which would have meant some stops being out-of-action.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Iida-Mai Einmaa.

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