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Government coalition still not agreed on rural public transport funding

Rural Affairs Committee chairman Aivar Kokk (IRL).
Rural Affairs Committee chairman Aivar Kokk (IRL). Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Estonia's government coalition parties have yet to agree on the funding of public transport in the country's rural areas. The Rural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu is to propose allowing request stops and the abolition of a special discount.

"We had very heated discussions, and next Tuesday, the same people will sit down at together once more," committee chairman Aivar Kokk (IRL) told BNS on Monday.

According to Kokk, the coalition parties — the Center Party, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) — have still not been able to agree on the funding of public transport in rural areas, and IRL considers it important that public transport centers still be able to decide on the distribution of funds. The route network has shrunk substantially and new routes need to be established, he added.

It was agreed in the committee that the opportunity to request long-distance lines must exist, and the committee is drawing up a proposal according to which a passenger can ensure that a bus will stop at a request stop by purchasing a ticket beforehand. "All transport companies that were present also agreed with this," Kokk noted.

The committee will also likely propose abolishing a special discount in situations in which employers are paying for employees' bus tickets for daily commutes.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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