Public Transit
March 24, 2021

Estonia free transit didn’t reduce auto travel (but did walking)

Defying hope and common sense, it appears (at least in Tallinn, Estonia) that providing free transit to local users, while resulting in more rides, doesn’t reduce auto traffic.  Report here in Eltis.

The National Audit Office of Estonia have been investigating the free public transport introduced in Tallinn, including the free bus and tram travel for local registered people. …

Results on the county model were that free public transport has not reached its goal to reduce car journeys. Whilst public transport use numbers have increased, still more than half of all trips to work are done by car.

What is positive is that the decline in the share of public transport users has stopped for a couple of years,” stated Auditor General Janar Holm. “Unfortunately, not a significant number of new users have been attracted to public transport despite the fact that over the recent years, the state has allocated more and more funds to cover the costs of county bus transport and has allowed people to travel by bus free of charge in most counties.” …

Additionally, it was found that the bus network is not designed to meet people’s mobility needs, since it got planned from the view of current public transport users only. Consequently, the needs of car users must be taken into consideration for the design of future public transport services to offer an attractive alternative to car travel.

Read more »