Monday, April 15, 2013

Two biggest free public transit cities seek cooperation

Chengdu & Tallinn working together for free public transport

 Free buses ease congestion & pollution in Chengdu city.
From Tallinn city website:   5.4.2013

At the meeting held on 26 March between the Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Mr Taavi Aas and Liu Shoucheng, Vice Mayor in charge of transportation of Chengdu, capital of the Sichuan province in China, the latter expressed Chengdu’s interest in the development of contacts with Tallinn regarding free public transport and Chengdu’s participation in European public transportation network projects.

Taavi Aas considers the experience and knowledge of city traffic management of Chengdu, a city with 14 million inhabitants, valuable both for Tallinn and Europe. “The fourth largest city of China - the country leading the global economic development process, is one of China’s growth drivers, and its urban management solutions are of great interest also in the West, be it the development of public transport in general or free public transport in particular, laying restrictions to car traffic, management of city planning or promoting modern entrepreneurship,” said Aas.  

At the meeting with the Head of Tallinn Transport Department Mr Andres Harjo the Vice Manager of Chengdu Transport Department Tu Zhi pointed out that Chengdu’s free public transport experiment is followed with great interest in all of China and so far the experiment has been a success. Combined with limited access to city centre by car (according to the last number of the registration plate each car is allowed to the city centre on one business day only) the free public transport between ringroads 2 and 3 has greatly reduced the number of cars in the city. The free public transport experiment in Chengdu was launched last October and was planned to end on 30 June this year. “Yet the leaders of Chengdu transportation sector implied clearly that free public transport on the current lines shall definitely continue and the only question is whether and to which extent the free public transport shall expand,” stated Harjo.

At the meeting of the Chairman of the Board of Tallinn TV Mr Allan Alaküla and the Vice President of Chengdu City TV CNTV Ma Xiangyang it was agreed that Chengdu TV crew shall visit Tallinn to cover the subject of free public transport and introduce Tallinn to Chinese people as an attractive tourist destination.

Members of the Tallinn delegation who visited Chengdu last week upon the invitation from Chengdu City Council were Deputy Mayor Mr Taavi Aas, Head of the Transport Department Mr Andres Harjo, Development Director of Tallinn Mr Kaarel-Mati Halla, coordinator of development projects of the City Enterprise Board Ms Ingrid Hindrikson and the Representative of Tallinn to the European Union and Chairman of the Board of Tallinn TV Mr Allan Alaküla. 

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