RIGA - The Riga City Council majority, made up of Harmony Center and the oddly-named Honor to Serve Riga councilmen, decided, after all, on Oct. 7 that public transport will become slightly less expensive for residents who live in Riga, and fares for all other residents will double.
As of Jan. 1 next year, residents who have declared Riga as their place of residence will have to pay 0.42 lats (0.6 euros) per one ride on the Riga public transport system, reports LETA. The fare for all other passengers - including tourists and other visitors - will be 0.84 lats or 1.20 euros. The current fare is 0.5 lats.
Similar changes are planned in the prices of monthly passes.
In order to apply for the discount, Riga residents will have to take out personalized e-tickets, which will also become their so-called ‘Rigan’s card.’
The Riga City Council opposition sharply objected to such “sorting” of residents. Such was the way in the Soviet Union.
The ruling coalition also pushed through its pet project by a majority vote the establishment of the entity ‘Riga.lv,’ that will upgrade the council’s Web site, and produce a monthly newspaper in both Latvian and Russian for city inhabitants free of charge. Such magazines are usually a form of propaganda for the City Council, financed at public expense.
Opposition councilpersons from Unity and VL-TB/LNNK were quick to point out that the dual language variation would in fact be a State Language Law violation. VL-TB/LNNK’s Girts Lapins mentioned that “the idea’s financial flow is murky,” as the entity ‘Riga.lv’ will also be funded by a number of municipal companies. Unity’s Sarmite Elerte criticized the notion of a free newspaper altogether, saying it will be “too general.” And who will have editorial control, one wonders.