THE BUSES are on time, the trams are shiny and new, and passengers usually get a seat. In many cities that would be remarkable enough. But in Tallinn locals are also not required to buy a ticket. In 2013 it became the world’s first capital city to offer residents free public transport. Estonia as a whole has been following suit, and last year set the ambition of becoming the first country with free public transport nationwide. Buses are now free of charge in 11 of its 15 counties.
Tallinn’s city government came up with the idea of free transport after the 2008 financial crisis. Estonia…