Estonia is the first country to offer free public transit nationwide

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Tallinn, known for its digital government and successful tech startups, is often referred to as Europe’s innovation capital. Now celebrating five years of free public transport for all citizens, the government is planning to make Estonia the first free public transport nation.

Pop-Up City‘s Regina Schröter interviews the Head of the Tallinn European Union Office, Allan Alaküla, about Estonia‘s plans to expand the successful fare-free public transport model from the capital to the entire country on July 1: “Before introducing free public transport, the city center was crammed with cars. This situation has improved — also because we raised parking fees. When non-Tallinners leave their cars in a park-and-ride and check in to public transport on the same day, they can’t only use public transport for free but also won’t be charged the parking fee. We noticed that people didn’t complain about high parking fees once we offered them a good alternative.”

A number of other European cities, most notably Paris, also offer, or are considering, free public transport to ease traffic, reduce pollution, and boost local businesses.

Previously: Can offering free rides invigorate public transit?