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Public transport priority system


Detailed description of the Good Practice

The most problematic streets and junctions and the duration of peak time delays will be identified. This allows to define the areas where feasibility study of the priority system should be carried out, and to propose detailed solutions. Next, a strategy for the future public transport priority system will be prepared. It should be an open centrally managed priority system that can be further developed into a real time management and control system for public transport.

Different solutions will be tested such as; a) public transport lanes; b) signalling system, for example priority signal for public transport together with a stop directly before the signals; c) adjusted traffic control, for example new one-way streets with two-way traffic for public transport maintained; removal of car traffic from tram tracks; double stopping line. d) automatic passenger counting in a number of vehicles, in order to obtain information about passenger flow and to optimise the timetables.

Implementation of the priority system will be linked to the road construction plan, while construction and reconstruction projects must observe the requirements of the priority system.

public transport
quality of life

Objectives of the Good Practice

To establish a priority system for buses in order to increase the modal share of collective passenger transports.
To increase the speed and efficiency of collective passenger transport system in Tallinn.
To reduce congestion in the city centre and to improve air quality.

Reversal of the speed decrease on SMILE routes for trolleybuses. 2008 value 2 km/h is higher on evening peak hour compared with “Business as usual” and comparable with value from 2005. The car speed on same route was decreased by 11.2 km/h compared to 2005.

  • Previous steady decline in the modal share of public transport (in terms of passenger kilometres) halted in 2008. However, the measures implemented have not managed a significant reverse in the trend - merely hold the modal share at the same level as 2007.

In autumn 2008 had been started data collection for the creation of new timetables. Surveys made under SMILE-project gave us certain hopes.

Participants of the Good Practice

A Swedish company called Thoreb AB
City of Tallinn

Target group of the Good Practice


Funding of the Good Practice

City of Tallinn

More Details of the Good Practice

A Swedish company called Thoreb AB (executor of the procurement contract) has carried out the installation of equipment for priority system. Thanks to additional financial funding the final number of priority vehicles has been increased from 111 to 158. 99 Tallinn Bus Company’s (TAK) buses and 59 Tallinn Tram and Trolleybus Company’s (TTTK) trolleybuses are completely equipped.
The installation of equipment for intersections, IT-Radio node and 6 WLAN stations in operator depots were previously completed, but number of intersections has grown from 26 to 30. Priority system is managing today the traffic of 6 bus and 3 trolleybus routes. The total length of priority lanes has been raised from 3,5 to 10 km.

Available files

Data sources and references

European Local Transport Information Service