Scenario > Free Public Transport in Tallinn

This is a future scenario* to show how the charter can create a shift in how Multi-level governance (MLG) is applied in Europe. It has been developed during the “Engagement Interviews”,  (Brussels – 03-04/2012).

* The following story is a fiction imagined during the co-creation process and does not engage the public authorities or stakeholders eventually mentioned.


Miiko Ivanov, Director of Services, City of Tallinn (Estonia)

Since beginning of 2011 and Estonia passing to Euro, a local citizen network for Free public transport has been gathering citizens, local associations acting in the field of social and environment. After 2 years of negotiation and collective engagement, they reached the objective of free public transport from 2013, 1st of Jan. Through the MLG Charters guidelines on how to create a culture of civil participation and co-designing public policies, they catalysed a new dynamic and culture change between citizens and local government. Through various actions and phases of collaborative thinking, there has been strong citizen feedback to the local government to introduce a free public transport system.  The forums held to make this decision involved co-design, trial and testing services with ‘free days’ and consulting the wider public through surveys. In fact, many citizens have shown excitement about being involved in ‘everyday politics’. Members of Parliament and local council are now taking new habits in listening and taking into account the feedback structured by citizens and implementing practical programs like this installation o free public transport in the city of Tallinn. Not all citizens are embracing the MLG charter, it is not a ‘best seller’, however there are some active citizens who are using it to make a difference in their local area and it created a real shift.  Through this action, the city of Tallinn obtained a special award for the 2013 “For a good MLG in Europe”.

News Break: “Estonia’s capital Tallinn said Monday it will become the first European capital with free public transport, but critics slammed the move as a politically motivated waste of money. City authorities said public transport will be free from January 1, 2013, and pointed to a recent poll that found three quarters of the capital’s 416,000 supported the idea. “Tallinn is the first capital in Europe to take the step of making public transport free,” Mayor Edgar Savisaar said Monday in a press release, adding the move would make the city “the flagship of green movement in Europe.” Officials also noted the Estonian capital, a popular tourist destination for Finns and Russians, has spearheaded the European Green Capital movement aimed at boosting environmental protection in capital cities.”

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