Get your Rīga Card for just €64/mo

The Rīga City Council decided Wednesday that the Rīga Card will be available to non-Rīgans as well... for the hefty price of €775 a year, which equals €64.5 a month, reported Latvian Radio Wednesday.

The card is originally for people with a declared place of residency in Rīga, meaning it's likely they are paying taxes to the city as well.

It offers several discounts, like for visiting the zoo or buying time tickets in public transportation (starting July 1). It also acts as a fare card in Rīga's public transportation and can be topped up at newsstands and ticket machines.

Vadims Baraņņiks, head of the Traffic and Transport Department at the council, said that the price was set at €775 a year as it's half of what the average Rigan pays the city in taxes annually. 

The Rīga Card first rose to prominence in 2013 when mayor Nils Ušakovs wanted to introduce the card, the holders of which would receive sizable public transportation discounts.

The move was criticized by locals and state institutions, like the Ministry for Environment and Regional Development (VARAM), which called the initiative legally unsound.

Among other objections, VARAM said that the card would be discriminatory to non-Rīgans, who would have had no chance to buy the card. 

However now Ušakovs is sure that the initiative will go through VARAM smoothly, making the Rīga Card much more sought-after though unlikely to be popular among non-Rīgans given the price tag.

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