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Riga

Riga is a city of 717,000 inhabitants, situated on the Baltic Sea coast at the mouth of the river Daugava. It is the capital of Latvia and is the largest city in the Baltic States. Considering transport, main goal is to guarantee to all social groups quality means of transport as an alternative to private cars.

Although the modal share of public transport in Riga and its surroundings has decreased considerably in the past decade from over 80 percent in the Soviet period to an estimated 35 to 40 percent at present, the current modal share is still relatively high compared to West European countries. In earlier studies, the modal split for the city of Riga was estimated as: 35 percent cars; 35 percent public transport; 29 percent pedestrians; and 1 percent other modes.

A mobility plan and action programme for Riga and its surroundings are under development. The city’s strategic approach to transport management is currently defined by the Riga Public Transport Development Concept 2005-2018 (available only in Latvian), which was approved in 2005 by the Riga City Council. The main goal of the concept is to guarantee to all social groups quality means of transport as an alternative to private cars. Among the main tasks are to ensure the priority of public transport in the traffic flow; to integrate the public transport network; to develop an electronic ticketing system; and to develop a low-floor tram system.

Good progress has been made towards these goals. Since May 2009, an electronic ticketing system has been in operation in the city’s public transport system. The first low-floor tram in Riga will be put into service in 2010. In addition, during the last three years around 9 km of public transport lanes have been introduced in the city center.

The city of Riga works on the implementation of sustainable urban transport measures in cooperation with the municipal public transport enterprise.

Summary finalized: November 25, 2009

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