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Taavi Aas: around the table were people who never use public transport themselves

Former Minister of Economy and Infrastructure Taavi Aas commented on the plan of the power alliance to be created for Postimehe to curtail the existing free public transport system. According to Aasa, he does not understand what the government’s plan is to find money for the already languishing public transport.

The plan of the new government coalition is to reorganize the current free public transport system. With this, only school children, the elderly and the disabled would have the right to ride for free.

“Actually, the money that is going to be received will not help at all, because exactly such a system is already in place in the Northern public transport center in Harju and Raplamaa, where 69 percent of the journeys are made,” Taavi Aas opposes. “Some sort of 40 percent will be added, even less, because even in Pärnu County the ride is free.”

Taavi Aas says that this money is of no use to public transport. “This money does not help public transport at all. It just makes driving more unpleasant in parts. Today, there is already a total shortfall of 25 million in public transport, of which, as far as I know, 17 million in bus transport. If more money is not given, public transport as such will simply run out.”

Members of the government to be created have said that one possible option is a digital ticket, with which all lines would be interconnected. The so-called German system has also been discussed, where one ticket is valid for the whole year and it is possible to drive wherever you need.

According to the former Minister of Economy and Infrastructure, in the end, the government cannot decide whether you have to pay zero, one or two euros for a bus ticket in the future – this decision rests with the public transport centers. “I can’t imagine how the government dictates to the local governments that you have to establish such a ticket price now,” said Aas. “Especially in a situation where this ticket price does not actually contribute to the operation of public transport in any way, because there is no money anyway.”

“We are moving towards a single ticket system one way or another, the Transport Board is already working on it. There would be nothing new in that,” he said.

“It seems to me that there were people around the table who were talking about something that they themselves don’t really know about, because they themselves never use public transport,” summed up Aas.

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