New Eckerö Line ferry to add substantially to Tallinn city traffic

Eckerö Line's MS Finlandia. Source: Eckerö Line

Shipper Eckerö Line announced on Monday that they are adding a second ferry to their Tallinn-Helsinki operations starting in June. This means up to 2 kilometers of vehicles added to Tallinn city center traffic at least twice a day, mainly affecting Põhja Boulevard and Ahtri Street in the port area.

Although they can't yet announce the ship's name and its exact departure times, the new ferry is definitely coming, Eckerö Line said earlier this week.

New route avoids Helsinki traffic, but adds to that of Tallinn

The route will add additional capacities to the shipper's route from Tallinn's A-Terminal to Helsinki's Vuosaari, from which e.g. Vantaa Airport and a local IKEA furniture and home accessories store are easy to reach, Eckerö CEO Taru Keronen said.

The harbor in Vuosaari is a convenient alternative to the ferry ports located more centrally in the Finnish capital, as travelers will be able to avoid city traffic, Keronen added.

The situation looks very different in Tallinn, where the new ferry's point of departure is smack-dab in the middle of the city. While the planned added capacity both for the transport of private vehicles as well as for trucks is good for the port's business, the added number of vehicles has the potential to seriously strain the city's traffic management.

Deputy mayor: New development necessitating finishing Reidi Road as soon as possible

Considering the new ship's capacity of 366 passengers plus cars as well as space for heaver vehicles, every arrival and departure will likely add some 2 kilometers of traffic to Tallinn's Põhja Boulevard and Ahtri Street.

According to Deputy Mayor Andrei Novikov (Centre), the city has no direct legal means of influencing the developments in the port area concerning shipping companies. At the same time, the city and port operator AS Tallinna Sadam/Port of Tallinn are in touch and discussing the matter, Novikov added.

Eckerö's announcement of the new ferry had caught the city council by surprise, Novikov said further. The new development makes it all the more important to finish Reidi Road, a new and more capacious roadway to take transit traffic in and out of the city center, as soon as possible.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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