Estonia paves the way for free public transport

Estonia paves the way for free public transport

Next to beautiful beaches, Estonia hides another treasure up her sleeve: free public transport. What started as a political stunt in 2013, worked out to be a nationwide project. As of July 2018, everybody can use regional busses in most counties without paying a fare. Are they living the dream? All in for free transit Aiming on votes for the 2012 municipal elections, Tallinn’s mayor Edgar Savisaar held a public opinion poll to see whether his city was up for free public transport. An idea that didn’t quite bedazzle everyone. Firstly, critics said, the mayor stole the concept from the Social Democrats, who already put forward the idea in 2005. Secondly, opponents argued that the estimated transition costs (€ 60 million) would be a waste of public money. Those who could afford it, would still prefer driving a car. On the other side, 75 % of the voters gave green light to introduce the scheme, making Tallinn the world’s first fare-free transport capital in January 2013. All (and only) legally registered citizens could, after purchasing a green card (€ 2), hop on every means of public transport in the city. Reasons pro were plenty. Low income households saw their mobility increased, allowing them access to jobs. At the same time, the unemployed remained attached to society. Not only poor families with children would now be able to engage in leisure activities, also high income households were aroused to commercial activity in the capital. All in all, the experiment attracted newcomers. And, as more people registered into Tallinn, the city incomes from tax revenues made up for the annual €...
Racism in Sofia

Racism in Sofia

The events at Sofia – where Bulgaria vs. England had to be halted twice over racist abuse – seem all the more remarkable in the light of Bulgaria’s historical stand against racism. During WW II, the Bulgarians managed to save nearly all their Jewish citizens from the Holocaust. How did they do it?...
Las Ramblas on fire again

Las Ramblas on fire again

Heated scenes in Barcelona where protesters clashed with riot police. Not since the 1960’s and 1970’s, the city has witnessed street fights on such large scale. back then, communists, catholics and Catalan separatists joined forces to undermine Franco’s rule. Today Barcelona’s youths and immigrants, with too much free time, fight for distant ideals…...