Tallinn's night buses, which began operating in mid-May, are set to remain in service until at least the end of this year. However, Tallinn City Government has decided to reduce the number of departures.
The initial plan had been to run night buses in Tallinn as a pilot project from May until the end of October. However, due to the popularity of the buses for passengers in the Estonian capital, the operating period will be extended until at least the end of this year. Whether the buses continue running in 2024 will be decided during budget negotiations, said Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center).
However, the night buses will depart less frequently in fall and winter than they did during the summer months. While the buses currently run three nights a week – from November 1 there will be no night bus in the early hours of Friday. The buses will also no longer depart later than 3.30am. Currently, the final departures are at 5.00 am.
According to Svet, the number of passengers on Tallinn's night buses has fallen compared to the summer months. There were 11,500 passengers in August and just 6,500 in September.
On average, 2,700 people use the buses on weekends. Based on data collected so far, the most popular nigh bus destinations at the weekend are Lasnamäe (An average of 33.8 percent of weekend passengers) and Mustamäe (32.6 percent). An average of 19 percent of weekend passengers use the buses to go in the Väike-Õismäe direction and 14.6 percent travel toward Pelguranna.
The City of Tallinn also commissioned a survey of night bus passengers. The results show that the buses are most often used by people after leaving clubs and bars (36.5 percent). Not knowing the precise locations of stops on the routes (37.7 percent) was identified as the biggest issue.
91.6 percent of those surveyed said they felt traveling by night bus in Tallinn was safe.
Editor: Michael Cole