Tallinn to buy 20 Volvo hybrid buses

An agreement was signed on Nov.23, 2016 according to which Volvo will supply the City of Tallinn with 20 diesel-electric hybrid buses for a total of 6.2 million euros.

Volvo was the manufacturer of the hybrid buses previously acquired by the Estonian capital as well. In 2015, the city’s public transport company TLT bought 24 hybrid buses from Volvo to replace trolleybuses on routes 6 and 7, which were subsequently reassigned as routes 42 and 43.

The new batch of hybrid buses will be delivered in the second quarter of 2017.

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Tallinn-Tartu trip to take under two hours by train

Extensive repairwork on the railway connnecting Tallinn and Tartu is scheduled to be completed soon, after which a trip via train between Estonia’s two biggest cities will shorten to under two hours in length.

Beginning Dec. 4, or next Sunday, Elron will no longer have to employ connecting shuttle buses between Tallinn-Rapla and Tapa-Tartu.

On Dec. 11, however, Elron will be launching a new train schedule which will include one additional express train departure each on its Tallinn-Tartu and Tartu-Tallinn routes.

According to the new schedule, the trip should take less than two hours via express train, a decrease from its current average time of two hours and ten minutes; its local trains, which stop at all stations along the route, are also slated to begin making the trip faster than their current approximate time of two hours and 40 minutes.

Source: ERR News

Self-driving buses on Tallinn streets next July

At least two small self-driving buses are to be put into service in Tallinn at the start of Estonia’s presidency of the EU next July, with the aim of showcasing Estonia as an innovation-oriented country.

Rapid developments are taking place in the field of self-driving vehicles, and the technology could potentially have a big influence on improving traffic safety, increasing regional mobility and saving the environment, the tender announcement said. The presidency of the EU offers a good opportunity to showcase Estonia as an innovation-oriented country and a pioneer in utilizing solutions with a big social impact.

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British Airways to fly to Tallinn starting March 2017

Beginning Mar. 28 next year, British Airways will fly the Tallinn-London route twice a week, Tallinn Airport announced on Nov.1, 2016.

The flights will be on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Tuesday flight will leave London at 8:00 a.m., and later in the day return to London, leaving Tallinn at 1:55 p.m.

The Saturday flight will leave London at 3:35 p.m., and again fly back from Tallinn to London at 9:35 p.m. Both flights will connect Tallinn to London Heathrow Airport.

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Bus drivers’ minimum wage to rise 18 pct in 3 years

Following a year of negotiations, the Estonian Transport and Road Workers Trade Union (ETTA) and the Union of Estonian Automobile Enterprises arrived at a a sectoral agreement that will raise bus drivers’ minimum monthly income by 18 percent to 945 euros in three years.

Under the agreement concluded, bus drivers’ minimum monthly income and hourly wage, respectively, will increase to 835 and 3.50 euros next year, 895 and 3.75 euros in 2018, up to 945 and four euros in 2019.

ETTA’s initial demand was for bus drivers’ minimum monthly income to be increased from 800 to 900 euros immediately.

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40 km of Tallinn-Tartu highway to be widened to four lanes

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, work on widening Tallinn-Tartu Highway to four lanes between the villages of Kose and Mäo is underway and construction work will begin next summer.

The project plan is currently being prepared for a 25-kilometer stretch of the new road from Kose to Võõbu. When the plan is completed, a procurement tender to find the builder will be announced, likely sometime during the first half of next year. Construction on the project is expected to start during the second half of the year.

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Parliament was given an overview of state-owned airline Nordica

The Riigikogu’s Economic Affairs Committee was given an overview of the financial situation of state-owned airline Nordica on Tuesday. Committee member MP Erki Savisaar said on Wednesday that he was satisfied with what he had heard.

According to Erki Savisaar, the load factor of Estonia’s new state airline’s various routes has been comparable to that of competing airlines at over 70 percent, and so there was no problem in that regard.

The number of delayed and canceled flights, which was cause for concern during the spring, has also decreased, although according to the MP, there was still room for improvement. “At the same time, however, if you compare [today’s situation] to that with where they were in the spring, the situation has greatly improved,” Savisaar told ERR’s online news portal, who found that the primary factor involved in this improvement was Nordica’s switch to its own crews and fleet of planes.

Savisaar said that half of the money granted to the airline by the state had been spent by now, however if the business manages to stay on track and reach current profit by 2019, the company’s being in the red this year will not be a problem.

“What was said was so lovely that I want to believe,” said Savisaar. “They cannot be given any additional money for the next nine years, according to EU rules, so if such losses should continue as at present, then they will not hold out for long.”

Nordica has announced that they will not publish their economic results before the end of their first year of operation, however they are keeping within budget. First-year losses are projected to come in at 15 million euros.

Source: ERR News