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Lux Express will stop operating on the Viljandi-Tallinn route

5 min

With October, Lux Express will stop operating the route 135 Viljandi-Tallinn. Tallinn-Viljandi departs at 18:30 for the last time on October 30, Viljandi-Tallinn at 7:30 and 15:15 and Tallinn-Viljandi at 8:30 departs for the last time on October 31.

Lux Express Estonian business manager Ingmar Roos explains: "During the development of the Tallinn-Viljandi line, we tested different options over the course of two years, how to compete with a comfortable bus and a train with connections to the center of Tallinn. We received very positive feedback on the service from the passengers who traveled with us, but unfortunately we did not manage to achieve such numbers of passengers that would have covered the costs of servicing the line, even seasonally. If our other lines have departure times that are at a heavy loss on certain days of the week or winter months, the Tallinn-Viljandi line was at a loss in all months. Further operating the Viljandi line at a loss with the help of other lines' revenues would harm our ability to develop the rest of our route network, invest in new buses and working conditions. Raising the price of a bus ticket would not have improved the profitability of the line, because the price difference compared to the train would have increased even more."

Roos added that while the Tallinn-Viljandi bus ticket costs around 12 euros against the background of the sharp increase in costs over the past year and a half, the price of the passenger train ticket has remained unchanged - 8.33 euros when purchased in advance online and 9.80 euros when purchased on the train. So the price difference between a bus and a train ticket is 30 percent. "If before the corona pandemic at the beginning of 2020, ten buses left Viljandi for Tallinn every day, now after the closure of the Lux Express line, only four daily departures remain. Thus, train traffic supported by the state budget - the ticket price of which has been kept artificially below the market-based bus ticket price - has caused a situation where 60 percent of scheduled bus departures have disappeared from the Viljandi-Tallinn section in recent years. In such market conditions, distorted by taxpayers' money, it is not possible for Lux Express to continue serving the Tallinn-Viljandi bus route," Roos clarified.

We apologize to our passengers for the inconvenience caused by the end of service.