«New public transport service organizational order should ensure that transport companies provide residents with appropriate services. To introduce the new order in 2021, it needs to be discussed in detail in the Public Transport Council, which has in its ranks representatives of ministries and planning regions,» – BNN was told by Transport Minister Uldis Augulis.
It should also be discussed with the Latvian Local Governments Union, municipal leaders and public transport companies to ensure carriers are clear on all requirements, Augulis comments.
On Tuesday, 7 February, Augulis met with chairman of Road Transport Administration Kristians Godins. The two discussed last year’s accomplishments and what is planned for this year. The minister turned attention to the work on organization of public transport services starting with 2021, as BNN was told by Transport Ministry’s representative Aivis Freidenfelds.
Godins informed that ATD commenced work last year on the organization of public transport services to introduce them in 2021. The prepared project states that by organizing open procurement for the rights to provide public transport services, intercity and local routes would be included in lots. It is also planned to sign long-term contracts (ten years) with extension rights if services involve the use of brand new vehicles. Plans also include establishing contract prices, higher requirements for comfort and security.
It is planned that the ministry will be presented with a full plan, Freidenfelds said.
He told BNN that changes to the integration of student transportation on the regional route network were added last year. This helped adapting them to children’s needs. New routes were opened too. To ensure passengers do not have to spend a lot of time on the road, ATD reduced the times for approximately 200 routes. Express buses are also available on 20 routes. Work on the assessment of the network of routes will be continued in 2017.
Last year, season pass were introduced on 450 routes. This helps passengers pay less for travel. «Season passes for regional routes is a unique product. Work will be continued to introduce them in more routes. Unified bus and train tickets were introduced in Tukums last year,» – Freidenfelds said.
He noted that ATD management has performed major changes in personnel management. Functionality audit was performed last year, which resulted in structural and organizational changes. A new employee wage system and material motivation system were developed.
Freidenfelds explains that customer service at ATD was improved last year. Electronic service system was added last year. Thanks to this system, clients can receive some of the services remotely. Work was commenced on digitization of the route network in 2016.