More than 6 million passengers travel between Tallinn and Helsinki each year with many of them using public transport. People used to have to buy tickets for local public transport each time they entered one of the cities or travelled inland to Tartu on the Estonian side. Now, the Finnish capital Helsinki has teamed up with the Estonian cities of Tallinn and Tartu to create a new cross-border ticketing system with support from an Estonian technology provider.
Travellers coming from Estonia to Helsinki can buy a single public transport ticket using the mobile app ‘pilet.ee 2020’. Travellers holding a Helsinki Travel Card can buy Tallinn and Tartu day tickets and store these on their travel card. Additionally, travel information is available at the Estonian pilet.ee and the Finnish hsl.fi websites.
Representatives of the cities have welcomed the new ticketing system as a way of encouraging public transport use and so help it be a better alternative to car use. As Tiit Laiksoo, Head of Ticketing Division at Tallinn Transport Department, stated: ‘the main goal of developing the cross-border system is to encourage people to use public transport instead of cars while travelling. Buying tickets should be convenient. Making this process as simple as possible will help passengers to make more environmentally friendly choices.’
His Finnish colleague, Mari Flink, Director for Sales and Customer Experience at HSL, added: ´implementing this project certainly makes using public transport easier for those coming to Helsinki from Estonia and vice versa. In addition to user friendliness, it is important to encourage people to make sustainable mobility choices.’
Raimond Tamm, Deputy Mayor of Tartu said that: ‘the common ticketing system makes the use of public transport more convenient for Tartu residents in Helsinki and for Finns in Tartu. Thus, we create good preconditions for deciding in favour of an environmentally friendly way of travelling. During the health crisis, the number of passengers has been lower than usual. While in an unrestricted situation, movement between Tartu and Helsinki has been very important for both business and tourist travellers.’
The cross-border ticketing system has been developed in a project co-financed by the Interreg Central Baltic Programme.
Photo Credit: Leonid Andronov © / Shutterstock.com - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.
Article published first at The Baltic Times on 25 April 2022.