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Latvia's public transport twice as crowded as in April 2020

Passenger numbers on public transport are currently twice as high as in April last year, when the pandemic restrictions had recently been introduced, Latvian Radio reported March 3.

A large part of the population uses public transport to go to work. Data from the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry show that around 60% of businesses have introduced remote work. 

Rīga Transport data shows that passenger traffic is still well below the pre-pandemic level, but the average number of passengers per day is twice as high as in April last year, when the first state of emergency was in place.

"Until the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, on average, more than 400 thousand passengers were travelling in public transport on a working day, but from mid-March last year, when various restrictions were gradually introduced, the number of passengers started to fall. In April, it reached its lowest point when 85 to 90 thousand passengers were travelling on an average workday. It should be noted that during this period the Riga City Council also cancelled discounts for passengers with different categories.

"In September, the number of passengers increased again to 350 thousand passengers a day, but then it gradually started to fall. Currently, on average, 185 thousand passengers are travelling on a working day," said Baiba Bartaševiča-Feldmane, spokeswoman for the company.

Residents surveyed by Latvian Radio acknowledged that public transport is currently used mostly to go to work.

A survey by the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry shows that only 5% of entrepreneurs had introduced remote work in March last year after the announcement of the state of emergency, while at the end of the month it was already around 56%. There was a slight drop in November, but overall the figure remained at around 60% during the year. Some sectoral jobs cannot be carried out remotely, but for some it is a long process and uncertainty whether the costs will be justified.

 

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