A lot of work has gone into the Tartu city council’s revision of the local bus lines, but the city’s residents think that the planned changes fail to take everyday life into account, and that they aren’t practical.
The city council introduced the planned changes in a public discussion. The proposed revision of the city’s bus lines is based on an analysis carried out with the help of positioning data-but there seem to be considerable differences between the expectations of residents and the planned changes.
Riina Kallas, a member of the local neighborhood association of Tartu’s Annelinn district, pointed out that the revised schedule included arrangements that would require e.g. children of the city’s Ihaste suburb to catch a bus a full hour earlier than previously to get to their school in Kaunas Avenue.
“The kids would have to leave home an hour earlier, and once there wait for the school to open,” Kallas said.
Urve Kuusk of the Karlova neighborhood association said that people were worried that they would have to travel through the city center on every trip, and that there would be no direct lines left. “The kids can’t get to school, the pensioners can’t get to Maarjamoisa. The kids in Karlova that attend secondary school in Annelinn would have to travel through the city center every time.”
The bus trip is currently a good 15 minutes, travel time would likely double under the changed schedule.
Accordingly, Kuusk is anything but convinced that the new schedule actually comes with any advantages for Tartu’s residents. The use of the existing infrastructure is less than ideal as well, Kuusk said.
“There is a bridge, but only one line will go across it, all the others will make a detour through the city center. I don’t see any point in traveling like that,” Kuusk said.
There are difficulties ahead also for the residents of the city’s Tahtvere district. According to Piret Tarto, the district has plenty of pensioners who depend on a stable and regular network, and to whom changes to the existing schedule would certainly be disruptive. Another lasting issue is that there is no direct connection to the clinics at Maarjamoisa, a popular destination with the city’s elderly.
Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm said that the discussion had indeed brought out several points the planners hadn’t considered, and that the city council would continue to collect residents’ feedback for another month.
The aim is to have an overview by the end of the month, and then draw the appropriate conclusions and include the new insights in the next revision, Tamm said. (ERR/Business World Magazine)