If it’s free, does it work? The Tallinn Free Public Transit experiment

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As reported in The Guardian Tallinn in Estonia has been providing free public transit to its citizens since 2013, and also says it has made a 20 million euro profit.

While a monthly travel card in London costs $320 Canadian dollars a month, it is free in Tallinn on the Baltic Sea after their populist mayor Edgar Savisaar called a referendum on the decision, dismissed by critics at the time as a political stunt that the city couldn’t afford.

To enjoy Tallinn’s buses, trams, trolley buses and trains for free you must be registered as a resident, which means that the municipality gets a €1,000 share of your income tax every year, explains Dr Oded Cats, an expert who has conducted a year long study on the project. Residents only need to pay €2 for a “green card” and then all their trips are free.

Since the scheme launched, an…

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