Standardized bus fares being introduced in Latvia

Buses are the lifeline of the regions outside Rīga, as for many hopping on a regional bus is the only way to get to work or to visit relatives. Standardized bus fares are now being introduced across Latvia, starting with the Bauska, Tukums, and Aknīste regions, reported Latvian Radio on Wednesday.

Previously, there were 24 different ways of calculating bus fares for regional buses.

Now, due to government demands, the Road Transport Direction (ATD) has started standardizing the fares, and only four ways of calculating bus fares will remain.

The previous fares were inconvenient for monthly tickets and connecting tickets.

The new fares don't necessarily mean that buses will become more affordable. For those going only one or two stops, the price will increase for up to 15 cents, while those riding from 7 to 33 kilometers will have to pay from 5 to 10 cents more than previously, estimated Kristiāns Godiņš, the chairman of the board of the ATD. This might be offset by monthly tickets, though.

On the other hand, passengers who travel farther will get better fares. For example, those going from Valka to Smiltene on the Valka-Aumeistari-Smiltene bus will be able to save €1.15.

Most of the bus operators in Vidzeme and Zemgale will set the new fares during the next month, while in other places the new fares will be introduced more gradually.

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