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Since the 1st of January 2013, Polis member Tallinn is offering its citizens the right to access public transport free of charge. Although first evaluations still need to be validated, the figure of a 15% increase of public transport use is mentioned.
The city is pursuing the option of free public transport to increase the city's attractiveness, the quality of life, and the city's air quality. A majority of the Tallinn residents voted the measure in by means of a referendum. The free public transport will cost the city an additional €12 million per year - an amount the city government is confident to see in return of the increase of taxpaying new residents.
Although public transport will be free of charge, the public transport system will not be open. Tallinn has installed a smart card system (the green card). To be entitled to freely use public transport in Tallinn, citizens of Tallinn have to purchase this card (EUR 2) and register as a user. People from outside Tallinn can also buy the ‘green card’ which enables them to load the needed amount of money to use public transport.
The Swedish KTH (Royal Institute for Technology) will conduct the evaluation of the free public transport use. The Polis secretariat will report when more information is available.