State subsidies for county bus routes in Estonia will be increased from €21.9 million to €34.8 million next year in order to ensure riders free transport on county buses beginning July 2018.
"Our goal is to ensure people all across Estonia better transport connections and travel options, both in rural and urban areas," Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson said in a press release. "Thus we will be transitioning to a system of free county bus transport beginning July 2018."
Public transport subsidies for road and rail transport as well as the maintenance of air and ferry connections will likewise increase by €25 million next year, from nearly €67 million this year to €92.4 million.
The state is subsidizing Elron's passenger rail transport in the amount of nearly €22.5 million this year; this amount is set to increase to €31 million next year.
The current €22.6 million subsidy for ensuring air and ferry connections to Estonia's islands will also increase by €4 million next year in order to ensure the readiness of an additional ferry to serve the Virtsu-Kuivastu route connecting Saaremaa to the Estonian mainland via the smaller island of Muhu.
Editor: Aili Vahtla