VILNIUS - Public transport prices will rise dramatically from Dec. 1 with the current 1.10 litas (0.32 euros) ticket rising to 1.80 litas, an increase of 63.64 percent.
Authorities say the rising prices are in response to the current economic situation. Vilnius public transport companies Vilniaus Autobusai (VA) and Vilniaus Troleibusai were not reporting profit and were forced to raise the prices to avoid bankruptcy.
"By [increasing the] price, the condition of bus and trolleybus parks will be improved and subsidies from the city municipality reduced," Vilnius mayor Juozas Imbrasas told LRT.
VA director general Gintaras Nakutis told LRT this might cause some reduction in the amount of passengers for the first few months, but then it would go back to normal.
This means public transport users will have to accept the new cost or find alternative ways of getting from one place to another without paying more.
Previously a combined trolley bus and bus ticket could be bought for 60 litas. Now, considering the price rise and the itemization of the two services, it will only be possible to buy the monthly ticket either for buses or trolleybuses separately. In this case the price will be 70 litas for an all-week ticket, and 60 litas for working days.
Businesses that buy their staff monthly tickets will also have to pay much more.
"Our company buys 20 monthly tickets for cleaners, so our expenses are going to rise, probably resulting in slightly higher prices of our service," said Antanas Mikalainis, a director of cleaning company Antagute.
If passengers decide to buy a ticket on board the price will be 2.50 litas 's an increase of 1.10 litas.
Combined monthly tickets will cost 100 litas 's one eighth of the minimum wage. However, a monthly ticket only for working days will cost 85 litas.
Many other prices, including electricity and heating, are going to increase as well, meaning a heavier financial burden for many people 's especially those with low income levels 's this winter.
"I think it's stupid because the prices of fuel are going down and the price is going up significantly. The price of electricity is going up, but it does not account for the huge jump in trolley bus prices 's plus it's no surprise they did this during winter, when you can't walk," teacher Valdas Ramanavicius said.
"My journey to work will cost almost double and my wages aren't going up, so this is a major problem. I think the bosses of these companies probably drive Bentley cars and have no connection to reality," he added.
Public transport prices are also going to rise in Kaunas and Panevezys, but not as drastically.