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As of 1 July, Tartu will have new buses and a new route network

Tartu City Government Press Release

28 June / On 1 July 2019, the City of Tartu will switch over to a new bus route network, one that differs significantly from the existing network.

The new network will consist of 13 bus routes and two night lines. Transportation of passengers will take place on 64 low bottom, air conditioned gas buses. The buses also have new validators, from which a one-hour ticket can be purchased using a contactless payment card. AS GoBus will begin serving the route network.

According to Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas, Tartu will be taking a great leap forward this year when it comes to the organisation of its public transportation. ‘We took three very big steps at one time: we developed a new route network, brought environmentally friendly buses onto the routes, and started the Smart Bike Share project. As a result, the air in the city will become cleaner and residents of Tartu will begin driving less,’ added Klaas.

The new route network differs significantly from the existing route network in terms of itineraries, the number of lines, as well as the frequency of departures. The new route network has fewer total routes, although these routes are more direct, better connected to one another and operate at more frequent intervals. Timetables with a uniform frequency of service ensures that buses serving the same routes will not arrive simultaneously at the same stop. An important principle in the new route network is also the reduction in the number of circular routes and their replacement with pendulum routes, bringing with it a simpler route network. The routes travel in both directions along the same itinerary, and are therefore better understood by users. Taking into consideration feedback collected from residents of Tartu, an entirely new circular route (No. 9/9a) was created alongside the pendulum routes, which passes through all of the most important points of interest. The decision was also made to preserve the popular No. 6 route and the existing night routes. The new route network includes more frequent intervals: buses travel along the main routes during peak hours at an interval of 10 to 20 minutes. Taking into consideration the fact that multiple routes pass through a stop, in some places there may only be a few minutes between departures during peak hours.

Tartu Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm would like to thank all of Tartu’s residents for actively participating in the development of the new route network. ‘We received a great deal of valuable feedback from city residents, and took heed of that feedback to the maximum extent possible. Of course, compromises and choices also had to be made, with preference being given to those routes where the potential number of bus riders is greater. We will continue to analyse the route network and make changes, if necessary,’ stated Tamm.

A total of 64 new buses, manufactured in the Scania factory, will begin travelling along the routes, equipped with air conditioning, low bottoms and running on an environmentally friendly source of fuel. There are two types of buses: normal buses (12 m in length, 27 seats, and standing room for 52) and articulated buses (18 m in length, 41 seats and standing room for 96). The new buses will be on display during Tartu City Day, from 11–15 on 29 June, at the opening party for Tartu’s new buses, taking place at the lower Vanemuine Theatre car park on Ülikooli Street. A closer look:  www.tartu.ee/bussipidu

All of the buses have new validators, which require riders to pay a little more attention and slightly adjust their current habits. The current bus cards will remain valid and riders must continue to register all of their trips at validators, although a new feature allows a contactless bank card to be used to purchase one-hour tickets from the validator. In order to avoid unwanted payments, the bus card as well as the contactless bank card must be removed from one’s wallet or purse and used separately. A new option that will be available as of 1 July is QR tickets, which can be registered at the validator using a smart device or printed ticket.

There are also a few minor changes involving ticket prices. The current single ticket will become a one-hour ticket, although the price will remain unchanged at EUR 0.83 (one-hour ticket for students is EUR 0.51). The single trip ticket will be discontinued, in order to make travel by bus more convenient and user friendly. At the same time this allows for a reduction in the bus driver's workload and to shorten pauses at stops. If one still wishes to purchase a ticket from the driver, despite the above option, then the cost will be EUR 2 instead of the current EUR 1.50. There will be no change to the remaining ticket prices.

As of 1 July, there will be 27 new bus stops in Tartu, 10 bus stops will be removed, and the names of 33 stops will change, although the location will remain the same. The main reason for changing the names is to make it easier to understand the locations of bus stops. The name was changed if there were more than two bus stops with the same name.

The basis for the bus stops as well as the information design inside of buses is the winning work submitted to the Tartu Sign System Design Competition, the authors of which are Disainiosakond OÜ, Stuudio Stuudio OÜ, OÜ b210 and designer Veiko Liis A similar graphic solution can also be found on all Smart Bike Share information columns. The design of the new buses, on which the contours of famous structures in Tartu are depicted, was created by Karilin Tõnisoja, in cooperation with Tartu’s Pallas University of Applied Sciences.

The process of changing bus information at Tartu bus stops will begin on 28 June. Therefore, the City Government is asking people to be attentive and take into consideration the fact that the buses will begin travelling under the new schedule starting on 1 July.

Additional information: www.tartu.ee/buss and by telephone 1789.

Last changed 28.06.2019