The City of Tallinn (Estonia) will be the first European capital city to introduce free public transport for its residents from January to December 2013. The initiative is aimed at providing free rides on city-operated bus, trolley and tram lines to registered city residents as of 2013. The project, carried out by Tallinn City Council, is part of an attempt to make the city one of the greenest in Europe.
The initiative is the result of a week-long referendum on the plan among the city’s residents . The ballot on the topic ended with 75.5 percent of participants voting in favour of the project. A total of 68,059 people or 20 percent of the city's voting-age population, took part in the referendum. As many as 40 polling stations were set up in shopping malls, youth centres and community centres throughout the City of Tallinn.
In order to launch its free public transport scheme, the City of Tallinn will still have to find an additional €20 million, equivalent to approximately 40 percent of its current public transport budget. Mayor of the City of Tallinn and Chairman of the Centre Party, Edgar Savisaar, highlighted that putting the initiative into action is the result of peoples’ votes.
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