After the turn of the year, it is time to analyze the activities of the past year and think about the goals that are expected to be achieved in the coming year. We in Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS are ready to continue the rapid development that started last year, which ensures comfortable, logistically efficient, and safe public transport for the people of Tallinn.
This year also requires from our people full commitment, creativity, teamwork, and willingness to apply our skills in order for the citizens to be satisfied with the service we offer.
In 2019, we moved out of the standstill
Until last year, the main problem in TLT AS was the lag of the management line and administration from modern practices, 2019 brought a breakthrough in this respect. We transferred the administration to the Directo and Delta environment, which is a prerequisite for fast document-based communication between the various parts of the company. As a result, the tasks of services and staff became clearer, the decision-making process became more transparent and efficient, and cooperation became smoother. With the disappearance of paperwork, the modern work culture of the 21st century entered our company. The release of spare parts procurements into the Etend environment was no less important. In addition to the transparency of the process, the result of this innovation is also in direct financial savings. The implementation of Etend gave us more than a million euros of savings in six months! The introduction of a digital accounting environment in workshops must also be considered extremely important, as it provides a real-time complete overview of repair and maintenance and the contribution of each maintenance person. As an added bonus, we now have electronic status cards for all vehicles, showing all previous maintenance and repair work. On the basis of such a “health card” it is easy to determine the technical condition of the vehicle and plan the necessary maintenance work. The listed innovations made us the largest transport company in the country not only in terms of line volumes and number of vehicles but also in modern administration and digitalization of work processes.
Record growth line volume
In the first months of last year, our capacity was seriously tested when a private company that had previously served 10% of public transport in the capital unexpectedly announced its inability to continue performing the transport contract. Within days, we had to find a resource that would enable us to take over an additional load equal to the Tartu line volumes. In a tense situation, both management and middle managers had to put the whole spectrum of professional skills into play. Decisions had to be made on the go, restructuring had to be done, while ensuring that the current level of public transport in the capital would not fall. We worked on the breaking point but did not give up. Today, we know how close the possibility was for the city that some of the existing routes will have to be closed, at least temporarily, but we came out of the test with flying colors, and many townspeople did not even notice that public transport in the capital was on the brink of crisis in February 2019. We succeeded because we did not doubt for a moment the ability of the staff of TLT AS to cope with the challenges. Taking over 10% of the line capacity in a matter of days gave us invaluable experience in resolving the crisis, but more importantly, it restored the trust between employees and management that had been shattered by the corruption scandal of the previous management. The increase in line capacity was not limited to the takeover of the private company agreement. In the second half of 2019, we started with completely new bus lines 18A, 62, and 66; in addition, we tightened the existing bus and tram lines. At the beginning of 2019, TLT AS had 62 bus lines in service; by the end of the year, their number had grown to 75, which meant an increase of 21%. Such rapid expansion is the first in the history of public transport in Tallinn. The growth is also reflected in the number of buses serving the routes. In January 2019, 369 buses departed daily, in December already 421. Growth of 14%. For trams, the figures are 42 and 45, making an increase of 7%. The ability of TLT AS to perform the transport contract improved significantly. We sold more than 99% of the route plan, reducing the number of missed trips by 33% compared to the previous year.
Successfully ahead in the new year
In the coming year, our development must not stop, and in fact, there is no possibility for that, because last year, we laid the foundation for the company’s new development strategy that takes environmental neutrality into account. The development of TLT is based on an ambitious investment plan, which creates an opportunity for fundamental innovations. On December 10, we signed an agreement with the representatives of Solaris Bus & Coach for a supply of 200 gas buses, one hundred of which will arrive this year. This is the largest bus procurement in history in Estonia. In addition to the 200 buses mentioned in the contract, we plan to carry out a tender for the purchase of another 150 gas buses in the coming years, which will bring the total number of buses running on biogas to 350. After these bus procurements, the average age of rolling stock will fall to 5 years. Switching to gas fuel also requires upgrading of infrastructure. In 2020, we will thoroughly renovate our bus depot. We started the construction of new bus washes last year. The procurement of gas buses is based on our long-term, environmentally friendly strategy. By 2025, we plan to completely phase out the use of diesel buses. We are also growing the role of rail transport in serving the citizens. In 2019, we made preparations for the purchase of 8 new trams and then another 15 trams. By 2020, we will reach a corresponding agreement. We hope that at the beginning of the year the work for the construction of the section of the tramway connecting the passenger port with the city will materialize. But our thoughts for the future go further. In 2035, we only want to see electric vehicles in our bus fleet. To achieve this, each new year must be seen as a step towards a new level of development based on the needs and expectations of the citizens. Like Tallinn, TLT AS can never stop its development. Dear blog readers, friends, critics, and good city dwellers! I wish everyone a Happy New Year and a dream come true in a successful and joyful 2021!