Train passenger numbers grew rapidly this year in Latvia

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Over nine million passengers have traveled by train in the last half-year. It is nearly two and a half million passengers more than in the same period last year and is approaching the pre-Covid level, Latvian Television reported on November 3.

In May, August, and October, passenger numbers increased at the fastest rate.

"It's the [result] of a reduction in Covid-19 restrictions. The fact that much has got more expensive, fuel, and people choose the train is because it is cheaper and, of course, the fact that the train is a more environmentally friendly means of transport, a rather predictable time spent on the road, a timetable," said Sigita Zviedre, head of the communication and marketing division of Passenger Train (Pasažieru vilciens, PV).

The changes in the number of railway passengers suggest the impact of the cost of living on people's driving habits, but the same cannot be said about regional transport. It is too early to judge which factor has a greater impact.

"We're seeing an increase compared with 2020, 2019. But the reasons are not yet fully known The world has changed enormously recently, and it can't be the inflation factor alone. We've learned a lot to buy remotely, learning a lot to save. We have learned not to go to work every day and to do a lot from home," said Viktors Zaķis, head of public relations at the Road Transport Directorate.

Although there has been a slight increase in the number of passengers transported in the last six months, Riga's public transport passenger traffic has not reached pre-Covid level.

"Rather, this increase in passenger numbers in September was due to the fact that the school resumed and it's a trend that this number is increasing in September. But it is still significantly lower than it was before Covid-19," said Baiba Bartaševica-Feldmane head of the public relations section of Rīgas Satiksme.


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