Eesti Liinirongid AS, the Estonian state-owned passenger train operator that operates under the Elron brand, increased its ticket prices on Thursday. In the future, ticket prices on express trains will depend on demand.
"Train ticket prices will increase by an average of 5 percent," Elron sales and marketing manager Ronnie Kongo said. "In most cases, this will mean another 10-30 cents tacked onto ticket prices."
Discounts offered by Elron, he added, will of course remain in effect.
"The scope of the change may vary depending on which stops a passenger is traveling between or which train they take," he explained. "In some places, the price increase will be greater, but there are also prices that will remain unchanged. The most affordable way to purchase a train ticket will still be to do so online, where single tickets are 15 percent cheaper."
Some high-demand express departures will be subject to somewhat higher fares, however.
According to Kongo, there are several reasons for the price increase. The primary reason is the sharp increase in railway infrastructure charges last year, which increased the cost of passenger rail traffic by almost a quarter.
"Of course, we were not able to pass such a huge increase in costs off onto ticket prices all at once," he noted. "It must be done in part now. The overall increase in expenses, which has been significant compared to Elron's last price increase in 2017, has also had a significant impact."
Kongo highlighted that the additional ticket revenue will ensure the sustainability of rail traffic and will also allow for additional departures to be added to rail schedules.
"This year, we added trains on the Tartu, Rapla and Viljandi routes, where it is now possible to travel in under two hours by express train," he said. "Further additions to carriage volume will be made at the end of the year. For example, we are planning on adding an additional express train to Narva to the schedule."
Eesti Liinirongid AS operates diesel and electric trains on all domestic passenger rail routes in Estonia. In 2018, Elron carried 7.6 million passengers, up 4 percent on year, while ticket revenue increased 21 percent to €16 million.
Editor: Aili Vahtla