Study visits in Estonia and Finnland
Estonia is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. And its capital, Tallinn, has been considered one of the cities with the most interesting communication solutions for years. It is no wonder that the fourth study visit within the Interconnect project took place in Estonia (and neighboring Finland).
Not everyone knows that free public transport has been operating in Tallinn for five years. Free for residents of the city - tourists and other people arriving in these pages, buy and delete tickets must. In addition, since July this year, free trips have been introduced throughout Estonia. But only for residents of individual regions. Together with partners working on the Interconnect project, we went to test communication solutions there - both local and international. After all, one of the goals of Interconnect is to develop the best solutions for cross-border traffic.
From the moment we got off at the airport in Tallinn, we were moving by public means of transport. We did not have any problem buying tickets. Special prepaid cards were available at the airport, which allowed us to travel by any vehicle (except taxis). You could also pay for the trip using a special application. We took a tram to the centre of Tallinn from the very exit from the airport. Then a bus that brought us to the town of Viimsi northeast of the capital of the country. Later, we returned to Tallinn, to get there from Helsinki by sea. Already on the ferry we got a ticket for public transport in Finland. Also in the form of a card - this time we chose a solution: an all-day ticket. And on this ticket we could also travel, what the heart desires all over Helsinki. For 24 hours from the moment of deleting the first vehicle.
During our travels we saw how the Estonian and Finnish system works in practice. We saw how people "bounce" in vehicles, how they deal with this activity and whether everyone complies with this obligation (although public transport is free, all except students and pensioners have the obligation of having a city card and performing so-called "want-in" when boarding to the bus or tram). We tested the intuitiveness of the operation of devices of the type, natural, which are suspended in vehicles. We studied how friendly the applications and the passenger information system are.
Although it is still too early for a deeper analysis and summary, we must admit that the solutions applied in Estonia have made a great impression on us. We also had the opportunity to take part in two seminars, during which people responsible for organizing communications in the visited regions of Estonia and Finland told us about the details of their systems and presented development plans.
There is one more study visit to the participants of the Interconnect project - in Klaipeda, Lithuania, where new solutions in the field of ticket distribution and control are currently being introduced. After completing the visit cycle, a detailed report summarizing the experience gathered and analysing the solutions applied in particular regions will be created.