Five of the total 35 electric buses will be transported from the factory in Poland to Rīga by the end of October. The remaining 30 vehicles are scheduled to be brought until the second half of November. Afterwards, the buses will need to be checked in Rīga and the drivers will need to be trained, according to the public transport company Rīgas Satiksme. In order to do this, it is first necessary to complete the electric bus charging station, which is being constructed on the right bank of the Daugava – 7th bus park on Vestienas Street. It is expected to charge up to 42 vehicles at the same time.
“Given that their capacity and other physical characteristics are similar to that of the 12-meter-long buses we already have, they will simply replace some of the 12-meter-old buses in service,” said Andris Lubāns, board member of the company.
They are expected to be used more intensively in the mornings and in the evening to avoid having to recharge them mid-service. In which routes or neighborhoods they will run, Lubāns did not reveal.
"I wouldn't want to name routes right now. These will certainly be several routes, given that we will gradually introduce buses into service. [..] I think on the right bank [of the Daugava] we'll be able to see them on many routes. Let's start a little cautiously. If the capacity and actual operation of the buses in the specific conditions of Rīga allows, then we will probably increase the number or number of routes," Lubāns explained.
Lubāns sees no risks to the project worth 19 million.
The government of Rīga has called for a reduction in the excessive spending of Rīgas Satiksme, which will lead to a hole in the state budget for the next year and the year after. What spending can be reduced is discussed by the company with Rīga City. However, electric bus projects will not be stopped by the municipality, as the European Union covers most of its money.
If Rīga is satisfied with the new electric buses, another 17 buses could appear in 2026.