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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde
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Rīgas satiksme new management’s stance on contract with Rīgas karte remains unclear

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RS, Rīgas karte , e-ticket, system, maintenance, Saeima, plansMunicipal public transport company LLC Rīgas satiksme’s (RS) new board offers no clarity in relation to potentially terminating the contract with LLC Rīgas karte, as Saeima’s Public Expenditures and Audit Committee was told by RS board chairperson Džineta Innusa.

Committee’s deputies listened to Innusa’s report on RS’s financial and operations report for 2018 and 2019, as well as the company’s middle-term and long-term strategies and priorities.

Innusa explained that this year RS is expected to submit an assessment this year if there are plans to preserve Rīgas karte as a member. This means the biggest challenge for RS board this year is planning possible future operations in Rīgas karte. Currently RS owns 51% of Rīgas karte’s capital. 49% of the company’s capital is owned by France-based Conduent Business Solutions. A shareholders agreement, meanwhile, states that Conduent Business Solutions has rights of a majority shareholder.

The shareholder agreement’s term ends 31 December 2020. She also said there are different scenarios possible after the end of the term – preserving the current composition of shareholders or acquiring the remaining 49% of shares for RS.

«This requires a financial and economic assessment to see what the best solution is,» said Innusa, explaining it is necessary to look which of the possible scenarios does not create unnecessary costs for RS.

«We have ordered a financial evaluation. I expect it to be ready for presentation around March or April,» said Innusa, explaining that currently there isn’t enough information to properly assess future measures.

Committee member Juta Strīķe asked if Innusa is certain there aren’t any secret points in the agreement. For example, whether Rīgas karte trademark or electronic system is owned by the minority shareholder and RS owns an empty shell. Innusa stressed that she does not have this confidence and it is hard to acquire it, adding this is why an assessment is needed.

Innusa also affirmed there is no certainty about Rīgas karte’s second shareholder’s beneficial owners.

«There are assumptions, but let’s not speculate until we have information,» informed Innusa, stressing there is also no clarity about any potential secret agreements that could create problems when terminating the contract.

As for positive aspects, Innusa mentioned that from 2021 onward Rīgas karte’s technological e-ticket system will transition under ownership of RS. She mentioned maintenance of the system costs EUR 15 million a year. Next year, as RS will take control over the system, costs will change.

RS board chairperson said it is necessary to reconsider e-ticked system’s future, as it is ten years old and once it becomes owned by RS it will require updating.

«We will become the owner of the system. Throwing it away would not be useful. We have to see for how long we will be able to maintain it and how much it could cost,» said Innusa.


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