Public transport in Tallinn
Public transport in Tallinn consists of bus, tram, trolleybus, train and ferry services. Bus routes are mainly operated by Tallinna Autobussikoondis (TAK), but since 1995 MRP Linna Liinid is also operating some lines. All trams and trolleys are operated by Tallinna Trammi- ja Trollibussikoondis (TTTK). Electric train services are offered by Elron_(rail_transit) and the ferry service to Aegna island is operated by Lindaliini AS under trademark "Linda Line".
Only buses, trams and trolleys belong to the unified ticket system, trains and ferries have their own ticket rates.
Today, Tallinn is the only city in Estonia ever to have trams or trolleybuses. The first tram route was opened in 1888, and in 2008 the tram celebrated its 120th anniversary. Trolleybuses were planned in Tallinn already in 1946, but the first route was opened 1965. Since then, 9 trolleybus routes have been opened, yet one was closed in 2000 and another in 2012, leaving only 7 lines.
A light rail service in Tallinn has been planned since the 1970s. The project was stopped when Estonia became independent from the Soviet Union, but in the 2000s the planning has continued. The light rail would start in the city center, usually at Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square) or Viru keskus (Viru shopping center) and finish in East Lasnamäe, having 10–12 stations.
All trains depart from the Balti jaam just at the northern end of Tallinn's Old City. Elektriraudtee offers local EMU services to Keila, Paldiski and Riisipere in the west and Aegviidu in the east. Edelaraudtee offers DMU services to Pärnu, Viljandi, Tartu and Narva. Currently Elektriraudtee has fairly old trains, but they've promised to renew their whole trainpark in 2013.
Bus routes can be found almost everywhere in Tallinn. Nearly everywhere, especially in Pirita, Lasnamäe and Nõmme they provide the backbone of the public transportation system, as these districts don't have trams or trolleybuses (except Nõmme, through which the Elektriraudtee western direction trains go).
The routes and timetables are set by Tallinna Transpordiamet (Tallinn Department of Transportation), but are given to either TAK or MRP to service. The contracts are renewed every 5 years. The route numbers in Tallinn consist of one or two numbers, occasionally accompanied by a letter A or B. There has also been a special Park & Ride bus route 1PR, which was opened in September 2007 and offered service between the Pirita Park & Ride parking lot and the city center. The route was closed from January 2009.
Nearly all routes have two terminus stops, one of which serves to drivers also as a resting stop.
Tallinn doesn't have much "feeder lines", which take passengers to another means of transport. Currently, only bus route no. 57 has been shortened to a tram terminus.
Routes are mostly operated between 5:30 and 0:00 throughout the day. Some bus routes, mainly the express routes operate only during peak hours and have a break between 10–11 in the morning and 2–3 in the afternoon. From September 1, 2012, express routes will have the same ticket price as regular bus routes.
From November 7 until the end of 2008 the Department of Transport carried out a pilot project, during which popular bus and trolleybus routes' operating times were prolonged until 1 am.
Since January 1, 2013 all public transport has been free of charge for people registered as living in Tallinn.
Regional bus routes are managed by the Harjumaa Ühistranspordikeskus (HÜTK) (Harju County Public Transportation Center). The Center was established in early 2005. The establishers were the 25 local governments of Harjumaa and the Government of the Harju County as the representative of the Republic of Estonia. The goal of the center is to arrange public transportation in Harju County to raise quality of the service provided. The routes are drawn by HÜTK and then given to different operators. There are also about 50 commercial lines in Harju County.
As of November 1, 2008, a zone system was introduced for public suburban routes. Harju County is divided to 4 zones, with the first one being Tallinn, second the surroundings of Tallinn and the rest are determined by the distance from Tallinn. Travelling within a zone will cost 12 EEK, and driving to another zone will cost an extra 10 EEK. The zone system replaces the current ticketing system, where the cost was determined by the distance driven - for example, if a route passes through a lot of villages instead taking a shortcut using the highway, the ticket would cost more.
The tram network is fairly short and serves the city centre with its surrounding areas. There are 4 tram lines and two types of trams - Tatra KT4 and KT6, which basically is a KT4 with a lowered middle-section.
The tram system is operated by TTTK.
Trolleybuses serve the western part of Tallinn, Mustamäe and Haabersti districts especially. Trolleybus service began in 1965 with a route from the Estonian National Opera "Estonia" to Hipodroom (Hippodrome). Currently there are 7 routes: 1,3,4 and 5 from city center to Mustamäe, 6 and 7 to Õismäe and 9 from Mustamäe to Kopli. On December 1, 2012 trolleybus lane nr 2 was replaced by diesel buses.
The Elektriraudtee commuter trains are especially meant for the Harju County residents for a connection to Tallinn. The western routes are also used by the Nõmme district residents. Elektriraudtee has promised to renew the fleet by July 2013.
Tallinn has a ferry connection to Aegna island, operated by Lindaliini AS. Since Aegna doesn't have many residents, the ferry is mostly for tourists and is operated only summertime.
All Tallinn bus, tram and trolleybus routes belong to a unified ticket system. Harju County routes and commuter trains (Elektriraudtee, Ededlaraudtee) have a different fare system, which depends on the distance traveled.
Single tickets (talong) can be bought from vehicle drivers for 1.60 eur.
Registered residents of Tallinn who have their ID cards and the Public Transport Card (Ühiskaart) can travel free of charge on buses, trams and trolley buses in Tallinn from 1 January 2013.
Non-residents can use the travel card for loading cash for single tickets, different period tickets etc.
|Single ticket (with electronic Ühiskaart card)||1.00 €||0.50 €|
|Single ticket from driver||1.60 €||0.80 €|
|30-day ID ticket||18.50 €||7.00 €|
Ticket prices above are for Tallinn residents; non-resident fares and fares for paper-based tickets are higher. All ticket prices can be found at the Tallinn.ee website. Discount tickets are eligible to use for students, pensioners and disabled people. Anyone under the age of 7 or over 65 may ride for free. Also passengers with kids under 3 years of age can ride for free.
In a public opinion poll on March 25, 2012, over 75% of the participants answered "yes" for fare-free transit on Tallinn's public transport system. Public transport has been fare-free for Tallinn residents since January 1, 2013, making Tallinn the first European capital abolishing fares for city residents.
In Tallinn, in most vehicles you can enter the vehicle from any door. As of July 2008, Tallinn Municipal Police ticket controllers check tickets occasionally, stopping the vehicle between two stops so no-one can leave the vehicle unnoticed. A penalty fee (maximum of 40 €) is charged to any passenger without a valid ticket. If a passenger has forgotten his/her ID-card, then he/she can tell the ticket controller his/her social security number, which, in case the person has a valid ticket, proves the right of travelling. Since 1 January 2013, fare-free travellers (except those who could travel for before) have to validate their Public Transport Card and can be fined 40 euros in case you have not either validated their card and/or fail to prove their ID.
- "Uued trammiliinid ootavad linnajuhtide liisu langemist" (in Estonian). 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
- "Elektriraudtee vahetab välja kogu rongipargi" (in Estonian). 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2008-07-13.