Latvia's passenger train market won't be open for competition soon

Latvia will not open passenger transport by rail to competition until 2032, according to the government's review of the information report on public transport services on railway routes December 19.

Passenger transport by rail will be entrusted to JSC “Vivi”, known until recently as “Pasazieru Vilciens”.

On December 31 2024, the contract by which the State granted “Pasažieru Vilciens” the right to provide public transport services on regional intercity routes by rail will expire. After the end of the contract, Latvia plans to reassign the public transport service contract to the Pasazieru Vilciens (Vivi) from 2025 until the end of 2032, with the possibility to extend the performance of the contract until the end of 2034.

Justifying such a move, Transport Minister Kaspars Briškens (Progressives) said Latvia is not ready to open the market yet. Moreover, a recent survey of potential carriers has not shown much interest in passenger transport in Latvia by rail.

Also due to the supply of new electric trains, it would now be important to maintain the current situation of a valid contract between the State and the carrier, in particular as regards the use of the guarantee obligations.

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