Estonia set to announce free public transport countrywide

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TALLIN, JUNE 04 (DNA) – In a major move for public welfare, Estonia is offering free public transport without time restrictions to all its citizens.The move to free public transportation builds on an ambitious scheme already in place in the capital, Tallinn, where public transit on the city’s buses, trams, trolley buses and trains was made fare-free for city residents back in 2013. Now, the government is rolling out free bus travel across the country.

It will still be the largest national free public transportation scheme in the world. It’s aimed chiefly at giving people on low incomes greater mobility to find work, but advocates say it can have an environmental impact too, cutting carbon emissions by reducing the number of cars on the road, reported the Huffington Post.

The city of Tallinn website says that free public transport benefits those on low incomes most, but it also encourages higher income groups to spend money in local restaurants, cafes and shops.

In Tallin, registering as a resident means that the city automatically receives a portion of the national taxes paid by each resident, boosting the municipal coffers.

“There’s no doubt that we not only cover the costs, but also come out with a surplus,” Allan Alaküla, Head of Tallinn European Union Office, told .

“We earned double as much as we have lost since introducing free public transport. We’re happy to see that so many people are motivated to register as residents in Tallinn to make use of free public transport.”