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Helsinki eyes Tallinn's free public transport plans

City officials in Helsinki are keeping a sharp eye on a trial of free public transport in the Estonian capital, Tallinn. Helsinki's city planning office may re-evaluate the impact of a similar move if the Estonian venture proves viable.

Raitiovaunu 3B pysäkillä Helsingin keskustassa
Helsinki may re-evaluate the benefits of free public transport. Image: YLE

As of the start of next year, residents of Tallinn will travel free of charge on the city's busses, trolleys and trams.

Up until now, officials in Helsinki have judged free public transport as not worth implementing for environmental purposes. A study on the issue indicated that such a move would reduce travel by foot and bicycle more than it would cut back the use of private cars in urban areas.

Additionally, the city would continue to have costs for operating public transport, without however, the revenues from ticket sales.

Planning officials are now, though, keeping an open mind and may re-evaluate the situation in light of the results of the upcoming trial in Tallinn.

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