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Train ticket prices to rise in 2024

Trains are Tallinn's Balti jaam station.
Trains are Tallinn's Balti jaam station. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The government plans to raise train fares by up to 10 percent next year, Minister of Regional Affairs Madis Kallas (SDE) said on Monday. Increasing subsidies to keep ticket prices at their current level was ruled out.

Kallas sent a draft proposal for approval which raises the price of a single zone ticket from €1.60 to €1.80, a statement from the ministry said.

Fares for tickets passing through multiple zones will increase by approximately 10 percent. The new prices will apply from January 1, 2024.

Kallas told ERR fares will not rise by more than 10 percent. The price hike is due to Estonian Railways raising its infrastructure fees next year and higher prices, such as heating and personnel costs.

"All of these things are the reason why a small part of it has to be contributed by rail passengers," he said.

It is thought the new ticket prices will increase revenue by €3.5 million in 2024.

Minister of Regional Affairs Madis Kallas (SDE). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The minister said plans for the state to cover the increase were considered and rejected. Subsidies already total more than €30 million each year, and funding is expected to be allocated to both Elron and Estonian Railways for infrastructure improvements.

"Studies show that this should not affect the number of passengers or push anyone off trains," Kallas said, adding analysis had been carried out. "We can certainly see that the increase in fares could not be higher, [because] it would have a negative impact."

Government-owned passenger train operator AS Eesti Liinirongid, known as Elron, wants to see passenger growth of 8 percent next year. The number of passengers is expected to be around 8 million for the year and there are plans to increase capacity.

The minister said the number of passengers is rising steadily and several new trains will enter into service at the end of 2024.

"In addition, there will also be an impact on routes where, until now, there has been a parallel free bus service for people of working age. When it comes to an end on January 8, this could have a positive impact on rail passengers," he said.

Ticket prices last rose on January 1, 2022, the Ministry of Regional Affairs and Agriculture said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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