Tallinn in new free transport initiative

The capital city of Tallinn already offers residents free public transport; now it wants to eliminate car-fare for drivers who leave their vehicles in a designated lot and proceed on the buses, trams and trolleybuses.

The city government has sent a bill to that effect to city council last week, Postimees reported.

Drivers will have to have the green farecard that the city uses to collect data on ridership, and a minimum balance of 3 euros on the account linked to the farecard. They will have to leave their cars in parking lots signposted as park & ride (“pargi ja reisi” in Estonian).

There is one park and ride, or P&R lot in the Pirita district, two on the city center stretch of Pärnu maantee, and one in the Õismäe district.

The city’s transport department found that the first two of these are usually 85-95 percent full.

The way it would work is that the driver’s account will not be debited for a parking fee if their farecard is swiped at least once in the course of the day.

Source: ERR News

New Motor Insurance Act as of 1.10.2014

The Ministry of Finance hereby reminds all those interested that as of tomorrow a new Motor Insurance Act will enter into force. The Act places motor insurance into the contemporary legal system, elaborates on and amends a number of requirements and definitions, and, all in all, renders it more convenient for the customer to obtain the relevant insurance.

The new law transforms the motor insurance contract into a regular insurance contract. The contract can be concluded with a term of no more than one year and, for the contractual period, a policy certifying the applicability of insurance will be issued. When required, a contract that is automatically extended can be concluded.

The most significant amendment pertains to the injured party’s right to claim compensation for motor insurance damage from their insurer, providing the customer with the opportunity to arrange the relevant matters through their usual service channels.
This principle will take effect on January 1, 2015. So as to receive compensation, the customer will have a choice of whether to approach their own insurer or the insurer of the person that caused the damage. Damage will be compensated by the insurer whom the customer approached. Insurers will clear their accounts amongst themselves later.
Old motor insurance contracts will be binding until expiry of the insurance period noted on the policy and such old contracts need not be amended once the new Act takes effect. Claims that arose prior to the new Act taking effect will be processed pursuant to the old Act. 
The new Act will increase the sums insured: the property insurance related limit of 1 million will be increased to 1.2 million euros, and the limit related to bodily injury or damage caused to someone’s health will be increased from the current 5 million to 5.6 million euros. 
Attention is continually paid to uninsured vehicles. Vehicles entered in the traffic register may remain uninsured for no more than 12 months, given that the vehicle will not be used in traffic.
Vehicles that remain uninsured for a longer period of time are subject to the Estonian Traffic Insurance Foundation’s automatic insurance cover instead of the Foundation’s heightened insurance premium system. This will lessen the percentage of uninsured vehicles in traffic and helps collect means to compensate damage caused by uninsured vehicles. 
For such vehicles, the owner will have to pay the Estonian Traffic Insurance Foundation insurance premiums and should an accident occur, excess will be imposed.
More information about the new Act is available in Estonian at http://www.lkf.ee/et/uusseadus.
Source: Estonian Ministry of Finance

Estonian Air to fly to Bromma, Sweden

Moving in to claim a segment vacated by Flybe, Estonian Air will offer another way to get to Stockholm next month.

It will fly to Bromma airport, which is just 8 kilometers from the city center and near headquarters of some Estonian-based companies, twice each weekday, starting September 29.

“Meetings with business customers and market analysis showed that the flights to Sweden require more freedom of choice,” said a member of the national carrier’s management board, Indrek Randveer, on Postimees’s online site.

One of the only options for the one-hour hop across the water, the carrier’s flight to Arlanda, is generally priced at 150-200 euros. The introductory rate for the Bromma link will be about half that.

Estonian Air flies to Arlanda 23 times a week.

Source: ERR News

Port of Tallinn seeking new leaders

State-owned Port of Tallinn has announced a competition for the CEO spot, and for a board member, a day after another state giant, Eesti Energia, said it was looking for candidates to lead its company.

Ain Kaljurand, the current CEO of the Port of Tallinn, has been in the firing line before, when his job was subject to a dispute between IRL and the Reform Party, then-government coalition members.

Three years ago the supervisory board chairman Neinar Seli, now only a member of the Supervisory Board, blocked the move. Seli himself has received heat as he supported the company’s sponsorship policies, while also being the chairman of the nation’s Olympic committee.

The company also came under fire in 2012 for work that was being done on the Port of Muuga, saying that the company had caused 2.4 million euros in losses to the state by exceeding its budget in the construction of a quay for the container terminal in Muuga Harbor. That work has now been completed.

The Port of Tallinn announced Tuesday it had seen record traffic and profits at its port facilites in the first six months of the year. The company said it had experienced a 16 percent rise in profits and a 7 percent increase in turnover in that period, and a 5 percent growth in passenger traffic.

Requirements for the top job at the company are a little less stringent compared to Eesti Energia, with only five years experience asked for as the head of a large organization, instead of six for the energy giant, and a higher education degree, not a MBA.

Source: ERR News

Government approves 600 mEUR transport reconstruction plan

The Cabinet approved on Thursday a number of transport-related projects, including tackling two traffic bottlenecks in Tallinn by 2017.

Two grandest projects are a road from the Russalka statue between Kadriorg and Pirita in Tallinn to the port, and the reconstruction of the Haabersti roundabout, Estonia’s most dangerous intersection for accidents.

Besides the two projects, which according to Economic Minister Urve Palo, would cut morning and evening traffic jams, the capital’s tram line will be extended to the airport.

Investments will be made into increasing railway line speeds to 120 kilometers per hour on passenger routes. Regional ports and ferries servicing islands will also get an injection.

The 600 million euro package of projects is, in essence, an action plan to use EU funds, and the basis for the creation of the next state budgets in the field of transportation.

Source: ERR News

Tallink charters its cruise ferry to Australia

Estonian listed ferry group Tallink and Bridgemans Services Ltd. have entered into a charter agreement to charter Tallink’s cruise ferry Silja Europa to Australia from August
2014 as an accommodation vessel.

The period of the charter is at least 14 months with an option to extend up to 48 months.

For Tallink, the deal means that M/S Baltic Queen which is operating on Tallinn-Stockholm route will change to Tallinn-Helsinki route on 7 August 2014 and M/S Romantika which is operating on Riga-Stockholm route will change to Tallinn-Stockholm route. M/S Isabelle will continue the service on Riga-Stockholm route.

Read more from BBN

Oleg Ossinovski is the richest person in Estonia

The business daily Äripäev has named transport mogul Oleg Ossinovski as the richest person in Estonia, in its annual list of the 500 richest people in Estonia.

Ossinovski, whose son Jevgeni Ossinovski is a Social Democrat MP and who helped finance the 2011 campaign for the seat, saw his fortunes increase by 75 million euros to 297.9 million, Äripäev said today. Skinest Rail, owned by Ossinovski, had a excellent year, sells and repairs train rolling stock in the Baltics, Ukraine and Russia. Ossinovski also owns Spacecom AS, which leases railroad tanker cars.Oleg Ossinovski

Hillar Teder of food retailer O’Key Group, who had claimed the spot in the previous two years, is now second, with the daily lopping 55 million euros off its estimate of his worth to take him to a mere 295 million euros.

The rest of the top 10 were as follows:

3. Priit Piilmann, major shareholder in Viru Keemia Group – 211.2 million euros (132 million in 2012)

4. Armin Karu, major shareholder of Olympic Entertainment Group – 161.5 million euros (112.5 million)
5. Toomas Annus, chairman and major shareholder of Merko real estate developer – 143.1 million euros (133.8 million)
6. Margus Kangro, major shareholder in Viru Keemia Group – 132.1 million euros (104.4 million)
7. Fjodor Berman, owner and head of BLRT Group – 119 million euros (182.2 million)
8. Marcel Vichmann, owner of Edelaraudtee and GoBus – 117.5 million euros (107.1 million)
9. Sonny Aswani, managing director of the Tolaram Group in Estonia – 117.2 million euros (109.9 million)
10. Roman Stroykov, an industrial wholesaler – 115.1 million euros (89.5 million)

Source: ERR News


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