Fare-Free Public Transport (FFPT) is now available to all residents of Tallinn, improving traffic circulation in the city and receiving wide citizen support.

The City of Tallinn recently launched Europe’s largest initiative for FFPT to date. Since January 2013, Tallinn has provided free public transport in buses, trams, and trolleybuses to all city residents and all students in Estonia. This is an extension of a successful measure that allowed preschoolers, the elderly, and public servants to travel fare-free. The project curbs private car use, a growing trend in the country, and has led to a 7.5% annual decrease in congestion in the city center between 2011 and 2015. City residents now enjoy cleaner air, safer streets, and savings on transport costs.

742 tons of CO2 emissions reduced annually from the initiative

Cities100 – 2016

The initiative is publicly funded, and the city received strong support from their constituency. A public poll on FFPT, conducted in March 2012, showed massive 75.5% support for the initiative. Furthermore, there has been a significant increase in the number of registered and tax-paying Tallinners since the implementation of free public transport, which the city believes is a result of the initiative.

The challenge

Tallinn was increasingly challenged with the growth of private car use and its negative impacts on the citizens’ quality of life. The city decided to address the problem by providing free transport to all city residents and reduce the need for private vehicles.


Economic Forty-three percent of respondents to a city-wide survey say fare-free transport has improved the possibility of finding a job.

Environmental The decrease in congestion reduces car engine idling, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Social Universal free public transport guarantees mobility for unemployed and low-income residents.

About Tallinn

Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. Tallinn’s Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn is the major political, financial, cultural and educational center of Estonia. Often dubbed the Silicon Valley of Europe, it has the highest number of startups per person in Europe and is a birthplace of many international companies, including Skype. It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world.

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