Saeima prepares to reject Riga transport fare increase

  • 2013-10-25
  • From wire reports, RIGA

On Oct. 24 the Saeima Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee supported Unity’s amendments to the Law on Public Transport Services which stipulate that a place of residence cannot be used as the only criterion when determining public transport discounts, reports LETA.

The amendments were supported by coalition MPs. Harmony Center MPs voted against it.

The parliament is to vote on the amendments in the second and third reading.

The Riga City Council decided on Oct. 7 that, as of Jan. 1 next year, residents who have declared Riga as their place of residence will pay only 0.42 lats (0.6 euros) per ride on Riga public transport. The fare for all other passengers will be 0.84 lats. The current fare is 0.5 lats.

The Riga City Council explains that differentiating public transport fares is meant to encourage the populace to declare Riga as their official place of residence, so personal income tax they pay goes to the Riga budget.

10,000 signatures against differentiated public transportation fares in Riga have been collected at the portal over the past two weeks. The goal of the signature drive is to prevent discrimination against a significant number of residents in Riga.