New bus routes in Tallinn which in many cases span the entire capital, in an East-West direction, have seen plenty of uptake, while the city government will review the situation during the autumn, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Tuesday.
Bus driver Sirje Koel told AK: "People don't really need to dash from one bus to another. There are quite a lot of people who travel from Lasnamäe, either to Õismäe itself or to Taksopark (by the Kristiine Keskus shopping mall – ed.)"
"It seems clear that people would like the route to go through the heart of the city or to reach the Viru Keskus /.../ and people are protesting a bit about the fact that it travels along Reidi tee – as if to say, 'what's the point of going to the port; where can I get to the city center right now?'"
One passenger, Annika, told AK: "Yesterday I traveled for the first time, and it's fine to go here from Balti jaam station, there's no need to go anywhere else."
Another, Dmitri, who lives in Õismäe, said: "I've been using bus No. 42 to the city center, but I haven't been to Lasnamäe, for example."
Olga, another passenger, said: "At first, this has not been very comfortable. I'm just not used to it, as there are a lot of people on the buses. But in general of course, it's more convenient to travel from one place to another without having to change."
Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Vladimir Svet (Center) said that save for the constant traffic gridlock and confusion over temporary bus stops, initial feedback over the new routes had been positive, noting that some people were grateful for the fact that some directions or areas of the capital formerly closed to them, so far as public transport goes, could now be reached.
Kaido Padar, head of Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS (TLT), which operates public transport in the capital, said that the change was made in August, ahead of the new school year and the ensuing formation of travel habits.
Since the beginning of this month, four new bus routes have been operating in Tallinn, transporting passengers from one end of the city to the other, should they wish to stay on that long. Previously, this would often have required changing buses, for instance in central Tallinn.
The city government will draw conclusions about the changes in the fall, while analysis on how well-used the new lines have proved can also be established then, once some time has elapsed after the summer vacation season, deputy mayor Svet noted.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Reet Weidebaum.