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With the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union - LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611 and       the co-financing of Green Fund, Greece

Free public transport: Estonia shows the way

In 2013, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, decided after a referendum to establish free public transport exclusively for its city residents, who registered as residents and obtained a "green card" for 2 euros.

This action was widely accepted, with the result that the Estonian government took the decision to introduce free transfer its residents all over the country.

This decision was taken to support those who have low income or are unemployed, while at the same time it is estimated that this policy contributes significantly to the reduction of exhaust emissions and traffic on the roads, as residents will choose not to use their cars to move.

The Estonian government also benefits, as with the registration of individuals as residents of the country, each city in Estonia will automatically receive part of the national taxes paid by each resident, thereby enhancing municipal funds.

Similar systems of lesser extent have been adopted by France and Germany, while Wales and the United Kingdom are implementing the weekend free travel system to reduce exhaust emissions from cars.

However, according to a survey conducted in Tallinn in 2016, the city's free travel system has not discouraged the city's inhabitants from not using their car.


The LIFE GYM [LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611] project is co-funded by the LIFE programme, the EU financial instrument for the environment.


The sole responsibility for the content of this report lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.


Start Date: 15 September 2015 – Duration: 35 months

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