Tallinn to lead joint Estonia-Finland public transport ticketing project ({{commentsTotal}})

A rider validating a Smartcard on public transport in Tallinn.
A rider validating a Smartcard on public transport in Tallinn. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The City of Tallinn is set to become the lead partner in a project to introduce a common electronic public transport ticketing system in Estonia and Finland.

According to a document to be submitted by Tallinn City Government to Tallinn City Council, Tallinn would assume the role of lead partner in the project to develop interoperability between Estonia and Finland's electronic public transport ticketing systems. When completed, the project would enable residents of each country to use the same electronic farecard to pay for rides or provide proof of the right to a free ride in Tallinn and Helsinki's public transport systems.

The total cost of the project is €2.6 million, €974,600 of which is to be paid by Tallinn. The latter portion is to consist of €828,400 in external financing and €146,200 in own contribution.

The implementing authority would be the Transport Department of the City of Tallinn, and the director of the Transport Department would be authorized to sign the documents necessary for participation in the project.

The explanatory remarks accompanying the bill state that Estonia and Finland are among the most interconnected European nations. Finland is the number one labor market for Estonians outside of their own country, while Estonia is one of the most popular travel destinations for Finns. The numbers of people and amount of goods moving between the two countries have grown steadily in recent years as well.

About 60 percent of travelers between Estonia and Finland use public transport when traveling both for business and for pleasure, which means that they end up having to purchase at least three different types of tickets: local public transport tickets in Helsinki, Tallinn or Tartu, plus a plane or ferry ticket.

The project is to be carried out in three stages, with the conceptual business model to be developed in the first stage, software development and testing in the second stage, and testing conducted in Tallinn, Tartu and Helsinki in the third.

It is estimated that such an integrated system will save passengers approximately five percent of time spent on travel and preparation for travel.

Once agreements on pricing and the division of ticket revenue are concluded, this would be the first successful project of its kind in Europe, which could then be developed and implemented elsewhere in the world as well, the explanatory remarks noted.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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