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HomeEstoniaEstonian govt scraps free rides on regional buses

Estonian govt scraps free rides on regional buses

Estonia’s Minister of Regional Affairs Madis Kallas has signed a regulation according to which paid regional bus transport will be restored nationwide in 2024.

So far, rides on regional buses have been free in Hiiumaa, East-Viru, Jogeva, Jarva, Laane, Polva, Saare, Tartu, Valga, Viljandi and Voru counties, or 11 out of Estonia’s 15 counties.

Children, the elderly and people with disabilities will continue to be able to travel free of charge.

“Public transport must meet people’s expectations, not the other way round. In order to offer a credible alternative to the car, Estonia’s regional public transport system needs to be modernized. This will understandably require additional investment,” the minister said in a press release. “It is important for the state that fares are fair and affordable for working-age people, so that they do not give up commuting by train and by bus.”

Bus tickets will cost 1.50 euros for those using an electronic card. If bought from a driver, a ticket will cost 2 euros. Tickets can be bought from drivers anywhere in cash and in some places also with a bankcard. A 30-day ticket will cost 25 euros.

Tickets can be bought and money credited to the electronic card on the website pilet.ee. It will also be possible to buy tickets from bus drivers and select vendors.

An e-ticket will be valid for 1.5 hours from the moment of validation.

The 30-day ticket will be valid on all regional lines, which will introduce a ticket for working-age passengers from next year. For example, a monthly ticket bought in Viljandi County can also be used in Tartu County.

It should be remembered, however, that this possibility will not apply to routes operated by the public transport centers of North Estonia and Parnu County. The reason is that in these regions working-age passengers have always had to pay for rides, and these public transport centers have fares in place that will not be changed at this point.

The exception is Laane County, where the operation of county lines is organized by the North Estonia Public Transport Center. There, the ticket prices will be established according to the valid ticket prices for the county lines of West-Viru and Rapla counties.

Since time is needed to launch the ticketing system, the regulation establishing ticket prices will enter into force on Jan. 22, 2024, with the exception of the routes operated by the public transport center for Southeast Estonia, for which the regulation will take effect from April 1.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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