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Tallinn introduces free public transport from 2013 (Estonia)

By Raf Canters / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
Tallinn will be the first capital city in Europe to introduce free public transport to its residents. A week-long referendum on the topic ended on Sunday with 75.5 percent of participants voting in favour of the idea.
In total, 68,059 people, or 20 percent of the city's voting-age population, took part in the referendum. As many as 40 polling stations were set up in shopping malls, youth centres and community centres throughout the city for the event.

The Tallinn City Government has been heavily promoting its plan to provide free rides on city-operated bus, trolley and tram lines to registered city residents as of 2013, and had organised the referendum, it said, in order to put the matter to the voters.

Tallinn Mayor and Centre Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar said after the referendum that the people had spoken and the mandate was sufficient to start putting the plan into action.

In order to launch its free public transportation scheme, the city will have to find an additional €20 million, equivalent to approximately 40 percent of its current public transportation budget.

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