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Challenge / Goal

The City of Tartu realised that it needed to put in place a more usable and wider reaching public transport network. The network had to be built with population mobility needs in mind, to create a balanced network that would be more efficient and more effective as a daily means of transport for commuters and general users. To create this, analysis of a vast amount of data, and feedback from citizens was necessary.

The challenge was made more difficult for several reasons. Firstly, it was crucial to finish the whole process in 2 years, so that the transport network could be enhanced and become usable as quickly as possible. Secondly, the aim was to provide a better service, but within the same budget parameters. A great difficlty then was in balancing costs, whilst also making most of the people happy with the new system.


A new bus route network was created, with 13 routes instead of the previous 27. This effectively doubled most line frequencies, allowing for a far greater capacity of public transport coverage for the city. The results of this were clear to see, with increased bus ridership already in the first month of functioning, and the results continued to improve during COVID-19 (with the exception of the first wave of the lockdown).

Overall this network helps to provide a better living environment, with less need for cars for the Tartu residents.

Citizen participation

Citizen engagement forums were conducted in order to understand their needs and expectations. In addition, a separate journey planning tool was created for the citizens of the city, with which they could compare their usual movements and the opportunities that would open up in the case of a new network of bus routes. People were able to find out the time taken for a daily journey and also the details of the modality.


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Time period

Planning time: 1 to 2 years

Implementation time: 1 to 2 years


The Tartu City Government; WSP Finland; Positium; Tartu Citizens

Service providers

The Tartu City Government; WSP Finland; Positium

End users

All Citizens

    Main benefits

  • Improving public transport accessibility

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