Saeima moves to improve taxi service at Rīga Airport

On May 23 the Latvian parliament endorsed a bill to change the way taxi services are operated near international transport nodes such as the Rīga Airport.

The bill was adopted in the second, non-final reading and includes norms to prevent taxi fraud as tourists are known to have been charged €30 and more for the breezy 10 km ride to city center from the Rīga Airport.

The bill under discussion proposes making taxi companies set a uniform pay rate for hiring a taxi, as well as the price paid per minute and per kilometer. According to the bill, passengers will also be able to pay with a coupon or a QR code. Taxi companies will have to ensure 24-hour access to service. Service cars will have to be no older than five years and ensure access to children and disabled people.

If adopted, the bill will also step up the protection of consumers' rights, with clients being allowed not to pay in case of the app or fare counter not functioning, as well as if a check is not handed.

The Transport Ministry, which pioneered the bill, says it expects the changes to become effective this September.

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