Back to list Print 20. Feb. 2013

"Rīgas satiksme" celebrates 10th anniversary!

In just ten years – from old yellow Ikarus buses to the most up-to-date low-floor trams in Europe

On February 20, 2003, two Riga bus depots, Imanta and Tālava, merged together, providing basis for establishing a new company, Rīgas satiksme. Two years later the new company was joined by the Tram and Trolleybus Directorate, Riga Parking Lots and Riga City Council Moor Pool and became one of the largest municipal companies, which today employs a staff of 4000. On February 20 Riga municipal company Rīgas satiksme celebrates its 10th anniversary.

On the occasion of this event, the company has organised an exhibition in the building of Riga City Council at Rātslaukums Square, which will be open to visitors   from February 19 till March 8. It not only offers to get to know about the major events of the last ten years, but also to look at them. Celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary, today, on February 20, 2013, the public transport of Rīgas satiksme  (trams, trolleybuses and buses) will be decorated with the little flags of Riga city.

Leons Bemhens, chairman of the Rīgas satiksme board: „I doubt whether the young generation remembers the times when old yellow Ikarus buses were running in Riga streets. It’s already a part of history know. We can be proud of one of the most up-to-date public transport fleets in the Baltics. We are often advised to follow Estonia as a good example in many fields, yet, Riga public transport is our good example which they can follow. We have fully renovated our bus fleet, and with a new public procurement, we will have renovated the fleet of trolleybuses as well. We have one of the most up-to-date low floor tram fleets in Europe. To put it shortly, we have started from Ikarus buses and have gone a long way to low-floor trams, which Riga residents and guests use on a daily basis now. Another important achievement which must be mentioned is the implementation of the electronic payment system in Riga public transport. In 2003-2008 there were conductors selling tickets in public transport, we had no accurate data about passenger flow and had many other shortcomings, yet now it is four years since we have lived in the e-ticket era. It’s not just a convenient means of payment in public transport, which is evidenced by opinion polls of our customer, but also a modern tool which gradually transforms into Riga Card.”

Every month Rīgas satiksme runs 81 tram, trolleybus and bus routes carrying 12 million passengers on the average, which could make about 1.5 billion passengers in 10 years. If we look at the total distance run by Rīgas satiksme fleet every year, it is about 50 million kilometres, or 500 million kilometres in ten years. If compared with the distance between the Earth and the Moon, which equals 384, 400 kilometres, it makes 650 such runs in 10 years.

It should be reminded that until 2003 there were several public transportation companies in Riga: bus depots Imanta and Tālava, and the Tram and Trolleybus Directorate, which, in turn, included 3 tram depots and 2 trolleybus depots. Given the fact that all these companies had one owner, Riga City Council, establishing a single company was just a logical step on the way to building a united public transport system and supervising it successfully in a city as big as Riga.

For more information about the services provided by Rīgas satiksme, public transport routes and schedules, types of tickets and other news, please visit our webpage at, social networks twitterfacebook, or call our toll-free information phone 80001919.


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