RIGA - Seven million lats (9.9 million euros) will be poured into revamping Latvia’s public transport system, reports LETA. Riga City Council announced the funding that will be allocated to Rigas Satiksme, who currently run bus, tram and trolleybus services in the city.
A spokesperson for the company said that the firm had drastically reduced administrative costs while keeping the bus, tram and trolleybus frequencies unchanged, even with the increasing passenger numbers. He added that public transport costs had been growing since 2008.
“For instance, electricity costs have increased 900,000 lats since 2008, spare parts and material costs have grown 2.2 million lats, and fuel spending by 3.4 million lats. The Riga City Council’s subsidy also covers the higher value added tax on public transport,” he said.
The company’s total net turnover this year is projected at 103 million lats.
In a bit of politicking, Riga City Council awarded free public transport to groups including unemployed pensioners, Chernobyl disaster relief workers, persons with serious disabilities, schoolchildren and vocational school students.