Thursday, September 6, 2018

French city of Dunkirk gets Tallinn-style free public transport

Mayor of Tallinn Taavi Aas (right) with his Dunkirk counterpart Patrice Vergriete.
Mayor of Tallinn Taavi Aas (right) with his Dunkirk counterpart Patrice Vergriete. Source: Raepress
Mayor of Tallinn Taavi Aas was in the northeastern French city of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) on Tuesday at a conference marking the rolling-out of a free public transport system there.
The free transport network, available to approximately 200,000 residents in the city and its environs, actually began working on 1 September and is the largest city in France to offer the service to its inhabitants, according to a Tallinn City Council press release.
Mayor of Dunkirk Patrice Vergriete reportedly held up Tallinn as an example of how free transport systems can work in practice, with the need for further expansion on an international scale outlined by both mayors.
''Following the example of our cities, the free public transport debate has opened up in Paris, Bucharest and various German cities,'' claimed Mr. Aas (Centre).
''We are open to sharing our experience with everyone,'' he went on, noting that free public transport was not just confined to Tallinn, having been implemented in the county line buses of most of Tallinn's 16 counties this summer.
''The capital city and the Estonian state working together not only enhance our message in the field of public transport, but also in areas such as natural conservation and digital development,'' he went on.
Other city dignitaries present at the meeting came from all over France, including southern French Aubagne district council chief Sylvia Barthelemy and Mayor of the Châteauroux, in central France, Gil Averous.
Tallinn representative to the EU, journalist Allan Alaküla, gave a talk on the prospects of international cooperation in the field of free public transport, it is reported, and speakers from Poland, Germany, Spain and Brazil were also present.
Free public transport to all Tallinn residents, who have to validate a swipe card on boarding a bus, tram or trolleybus, began in 2013.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Tallinn City Council