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Tuesday 20.02.2018 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
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Unity: there is no reason for public transport fares to become more expensive in Riga

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUChair of Unity’s faction of deputies in Riga City Council Sarmīte Ēlerte invites the Mayor of Riga Nil Ushakov to explain the justification behind Vice-Mayor Andris Ameriks’ more recent statements that Rīgas satiksme requires a compensation of EUR 15 million from the state budget in order to make public transport fares do not go up in the capital.

The Mayor has been asked to explain the justification behind this amount and whether or not RS has compiled estimates to justify it. If there are estimates, Ushakov is asked to publish them. Ushakov has also been asked to state the exact number of public transport passengers who do not have their permanent addresses registered in Riga. The Mayor is also asked to explain the method behind calculating passenger carrying costs and what factors can affect the rise of public transport fares.

«RS has yet to provide any reports to residents regarding how their tax money is used. For example, this year’s subsidy from Riga City Council reached nearly EUR 100 million. This is why there is room for suspicion that the request for additional money and the statement regarding a possible rise of public transport fares have no justified reasons,» – believes Ēlerte.

Latvian State Auditor Evita Krūmiņa mentioned in her interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT that she believes there is no reason to speak about public transport fares going up in the near future, especially considering the current lack of proper calculation of passenger circulation and passenger-carrying costs. During this year’s audit at RS, SA uncovered a number of flaws in the company’s employed tariff calculation methodology. As a result of these flaws, auditors uncovered the misappropriation of at least EUR 16.36 million.

BNN had previously reported that Vice-Mayor of Riga Andris Ameriks has said that there is a possibility of public transport fares may go up in Riga next year.

The next year’s budget seems rather grim for Riga municipality, because the planned reduction of PIT rate (by one percentage point) will reduce Riga’s revenue by EUR 19 million, said Ameriks in his interview to Rīta panorama programme. The municipality plans to approve the budget January 27th, so that it is possible to settle all investment projects and financing of public transport.

Prior to the approval of the capital’s budget, it is planned to discuss the matter related to Riga’s public transport. According to Ameriks, it is possible that public transport fares may become more expensive. However, everything will depend on the state budget.

«It cannot be excluded. But I cannot say for sure if this is a possibility. Everything will depend on the state budget – if we find a way to continue compensating public transport fares for non-residents of Riga, we will be able to maintain the same tariff,» – said Ameriks.

Currently, large cities, including Riga, subsidize their carriers on their own. They are the ones who set discounts for resident categories that are not included in state regulations.

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