It will not be possible to pay cash to public transport drivers and purchase a single (1 trip) ticket for travelling in buses, trolleybuses or trams.
"In the capital’s public transport, cash settlements will be limited to a minimum, with the exception of the low-floor trams, to supplement e-tickets in the ticket vending machines. Out of all routes of public transport, purchase of tickets from the driver with the bank payment card will be possible only in bus route No. 22," Rīgas satiksme (Riga transport) said.
Route 22 is the bus from Rīga International Airport to the city center.
"Purchase of the travel tickets in the transport vehicle from the driver has been maintained in bus route No. 22, which is mostly used by the visitors to the city, who are not regular users of Riga public transport. At present, certain technical issues are being finalized, so that in the nearest future foreign passengers may pay for the trip on this route to the vehicle driver with a bank payment card," RS said.
Passengers are invited to plan their trips and purchase code tickets via smartphone or e-tickets ('e-talons') at more than 400 sales outlets throughout Riga including Maxima, Narvesen, Circle K and Rimi stores. Public transport drivers will however issue a trip confirmation certificate to persons with group I or II disability and also in case of technical damage of the transport vehicle.
According to the municipal transport company, stopping drivers selling tickets will allow them to "focus all the attention on safe vehicle driving. The new procedure will also help to eliminate situations, when counterfeit money or large denomination banknotes are given to the driver, causing inconvenience with the issuance of the change during the trip. Furthermore, other issues related to the cash circulation will also be resolved."
According to RS's figures, around 70,000 users currently use smartphone tickets, which require the installation of an application on your smartphone from “Rīgas satiksme” or “Mobilly”.
After downloading the application, you must purchase the ticket and activate it when you enter the vehicle by scanning the code or entering the transport vehicle identification number that appears below it.
It is possible to purchase up to 10 single (1 trip) tickets at a time in the application. The purchased tickets are valid for three months. More detailed information about the code ticket is available here: https://www.rigassatiksme.lv/lv/biletes/koda-bilete/
It seems likely that people who are not confident with smartphone technology, or who have simply not heard the news about the change, could experience difficulties during the first days of the new system, so be prepared for possible delays and confusion when boarding public transport.