News Letter August: Free Public Transport is forever

Taavi Aas: Free Public Transport is forever

Signing of copyright and launch of procurement process for rebuilding Tallinn city hall

Estonia presidency of the Council of Europe Union.  Events at Cultural Hub till November

Maritime days. A successful day out


Tallinn’s acting Mayor: Free Public Transport is forever

Acting Mayor, Taavi Aas, has rubbished ideas from political opponents to scrap free public transport.

Aas pointed out that sceptics had been proven wrong by events when they warned that free public transport would lead to a decline in quality of rolling stock.  

“They (sceptics) have probably never even travelled on a tram or bus because the vehicles on the streets of Tallinn were quite new hybrid buses and trams bought in cooperation with Spain,” Aas said.

Tallinn is one in the top ten cities in Europe its use of hybrid buses.

Currently, Tallinna Linnatranspordi Ltd (TLT) has 44 hybrid buses in their fleet. Hybrid buses are energy efficient and carbon neutral.

The average age of the fleet in Tallinn is about 8 years.  

The acting mayor argued that free public transport had brought other advantages some of which were planned and others of which were unforeseen but welcome.

“Free public transport has brought an enormous number of new residents to Tallinn,” said acting Mayor Taavi Aas.

“It has also been an international success story.

“At the beginning of spring, the French city of Dunkirk was inspired to go ahead with free public transport from Tallinn’s example.”

The most recent surveys show that the majority of Tallinner are satisfied with public transport and believe Tallinn public transport situation has improved in the last 12-months

According to Tallinn City transport data, traveller numbers have grown by 11 percent per quarter and are anticipated to rise further.

“Our goal should be to convince people to use buses and trams more,” Aas said.


The race is on to redevelop the City Hall.

Over the summer, Tallinn acting mayor Taavi Aas and the city hall architects Raine Karp and Riina Altmäe signed a sole licensing agreement allowing the city to move the city hall project process forward.

In the contract, the management of Tallinn City Hall (Tallinn City AS) handed over licensing rights to the city.

“We will give the best from our side so that city hall can be renovated quickly and in the best fashion, “said Tallinn City Hall AS management member Kaia Jäppinen.

“The first goal is to announce a public project procurement process. The procurement process will be launched in the beginning of August and the result will become clear in October, “Jäppinen added.

The procurement process will take place with the involvement of the heritage society. City Hall is a landmark building and one of the best examples of modernist architecture in the region.

“Cost is not the only or even the main criteria, we must assess quality, the team capabilities, and previous work etc, “emphasised Jäppinen.

The city wishes to reconstruct and renovate the city hall putting a new roof on the building. This work requires the use of city author copyrights.

“Tallinn city hall is a transparent architecture memorial, which should be presented as a cultural and conference centre. Reconstruction was promised by the government by next year with the support of the national budget,” Aas added.

Tallinn’s much-anticipated conference centre has finally gotten the green light, 6 Dec 2016. City Hall is to be turned into a new concert and conference centre.

The development will result in a huge increase in conferencing, music and stage production capabilities, with natural acoustics, up to date staging technology, seating for 4500 people a multi-function universal hall, which is designed to attract world-class symphony orchestras, concert performers, and other high-class institutions, per demand. There will be a new outdoor ice rink and 12 2500-seater international standard conference rooms with black-box room capacity and cinema rooms. The venue will serve as an important conference and concert venue not just for Estonia but for the entire Nordic region.


European Council Presidency: Tallinn Creative Hub takes centre stage

Tallinn Creative Hub a project designed and implemented by the Tallinn’s government is the main location for events taking place during Estonia’s presidency of the Council of the EU. From 20 June to 2 November 2017, hosting informal meetings of ministers and several conferences.

The Hub will handle over 200 working groups of the Council of the European Union over the course of six months in various negotiations and meetings with the European Parliament, the European Commission, and third parties.

There will be an estimated 20,000-30,000 foreign guests at the high-profile events.

Toomas Tirs organiser and head of logistics said The Hub was chosen because it was a model of flexibility

“The presidency’s top events require a lot of silence, places to meet, and media centres,” Tirs said.

“There was also need a large conference room where you can fit up to 90 people around a table.”

Tiirs said the Hub’s strengths were its interesting industrial interior, which visitors will remember and its location in Tallinn centre city.

Tiirs said the Hub won out over the competition in terms of security.

“The presidential summit, where national and elected leaders, minister and European Union leaders come, will have strict security regulation and in the part of the cultural Hub which the presidential summit will happen, only participants and organisers will be able to go,” Tiirs said.

The Hub was founded by the City of Tallinn to expand Tallinn and Estonia’s cultural scene It was once Tallinn’s power station and one of the settings for Tarkovsky’s classic science fiction film “Stalker”.


Tallinn Maritime Days: a success

Tallinn Maritime Days took place from July 15-18, 2017.

The festival brought together more than 180,000 visitors to different events, as the world’s biggest sail training regatta visited Tallinn.

Tallinn Maritime Days are held in five different harbours in Tallinn: Old City Harbour, Seaplane harbour, and in partner harbours – Haven Kakumäe, Port of Noblessner and Pirita marina.

The highlight was the magnificent Tall Ships Race fleet consisting of more than 50 sailing ships. The biggest ship was up to 117 metres.

“The sunny weather just kept attracting people to the sea,”  Aini Härm, the head of Tallinn Cultural Department said. 

“Everybody had an amazing opportunity to visit The Tall Ships Races regatta, which had been visiting Tallinn for the first time.  

“As the world’s largest sail training regatta reaches the Baltic Sea once in four years, such a spectacular view of the Gulf of Tallinn will not be seen anytime soon,” added Aini Härm.

“The large sea parade attracted a lot of people to the sea and coast, and it confirms once again that we are the sea folk,” said Tõnno Piigli, project manager of Tallinn Maritime Days.

Tõnno Piigli acknowledged that in addition to maritime activities and sailing boats, the innovation area, added to the programme for the first time, also gained much popularity.

“Workshops on robotics were extremely popular among young gearheads,” he said.

“The U-CAT submarine robot, which was placed in the bottom of the Admiralty Basin and explored the underwater part of the sailing boats, also attracted much interest. Everything that was happening underwater was also lives- streamed on a big screen for everyone to see,” Piigli said.