Rail ticket system to change from April

The way ticket prices are calculated on Latvia's famously cheap and fairly cheerful railways is set to change from April.

Trains operating in five directions from the Riga Central station will have their stops divided between from three to five different zones, according to the precise route chosen.

Ticket prices will be calculated according to how many zones a particular journey passes through rather than on a station-to-station basis.

The switch is not expected to have a significant impact on prices, and even though the national passenger rail company is predicting a small 1.5% drop in revenues as a result of the change, it believes that will be offset by increased passenger numbers.

The company hopes the change will also encourage greater use of season tickets and reduce lines at ticket offices.

"The zone tariff system is simple, intuitive and easy to use, and opens up the possibility of introducing new, more friendly types of tickets, loyalty programs, and expanding ticket sales opportunities by offering passengers the chance to buy tickets at ticket machines, the Internet, mobile applications, as well as the on the train via payment card," the company said.

Information about buying tickets on Latvian railways is available HERE, though currently not in English.

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