Since the reform of Rīga public transport ticket prices at the end of last year, it is no longer possible for students to receive a discount by buying one ticket for a 60-minute journey, which used to cost them 30 cents They can now get a monthly ticket with a discount of €15 or buy a single ticket for 90 minutes for €1.5 like everyone else.
But in the era of remote learning, many students go to the university only a few times a week. Therefore, even at a discount, the ticket is three times more expensive than the single 60-minute tickets. For students, this is significant, Liene Levada, head of the Latvian Students Union, told the councilors.
“The income of students does not increase. We still have €140 a month in grants and each euro matters,” said Levada.
Therefore, students have asked the local government to renew discounts on single tickets. The municipality has repeatedly responded that it will not budge.
However, on Wednesday's council meeting, it was acknowledged that the councilors understood the students' request and it was agreed to refer the application to the Committee on Traffic and Transport.
"The committee is the right place for all of us to come together and seriously weigh all pros and cons, look at the different scenarios. What is absolutely impossible and what is possible after all,” said Zane Pūpola, deputy of the Riga City Council.
The students did not understand why it would only be seen in the committee now if the collective application was submitted to the City Council in April.
“Of course we are not happy that three months have passed and it is just an interim report, but we are delighted that it has not been left without any attention but will be viewed in the committee,” Levada said.
“We mainly hope that the committee meeting will take place as soon as possible, as autumn comes now, prices will rise again, universities will move to remote studies, and students will be hit by this situation even harder than last year,” she added.
However, the Chairman of the Committee on Traffic and Transport, Olafs Pulks (New Unity), was unable to confirm how soon the matter would be viewed because the employees had gone on summer vacations, while the Finance Department needed time to prepare the calculations.