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Estonia Will Roll Out Free Public Transit Nationwide

Meet the new world leader in fare-free living.
Not only is this bus stop in the Estonian town of Värska exceptionally classy, but the bus ride itself will soon be free.
Not only is this bus stop in the Estonian town of Värska exceptionally classy, but the bus ride itself will soon be free.Ints Kalnins/Reuters

It feels like the free public transit plans are coming like buses: You wait ages for one, then several come at once.

Yesterday, I wrote about how Paris is looking into the possibility of abolishing fares on its metros and buses, an effort that, if it went forward, would make the city and its environs the world’s largest free transit zone. But, as an alert reader pointed out, there’s an arguably bigger cost-free travel scheme in the works, and it’s far more concrete: On July 1, the entire country of Estonia will create the largest 24/7 free public transit zone in the world, one that will stretch across its entire territory. That will make it feasibly possible (if complicated) to travel by bus from one end of this 1.3 million-strong Baltic nation to the other without paying a cent.