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Minister: fixed tariff could be implemented for taxis working at Riga airport

Photo: pixabay.com
To finally resolve the problematic situation with taxi services at Riga International Airport it may be a good idea to implement fixed prices for taxis carrying passengers from there, says Latvia’s Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits.

He says the problems in the taxi industry have been left unattended for more than a year, because three major developments have happened: the Administrative Court has ruled that any service provided is allowed to provide taxi services at Riga Central Railway Station, Riga International Coach Terminal and Riga International Airport in accordance with free market regulations; changes were added to the Law on Carriage by Road, cancelling the tariff ceiling, and changes to the licensing process were added.

Linkaits also notes that consumers have limited options to learn the cost of taxi services. «I believe this had affected consumers’ rights to find how much the service costs, because usually taxis have labels on their doors, and every passenger has to calculate on their own how much the service will cost them,» he said, adding that this is a hard task for local and foreign passengers alike.

The transport minister also admits the established system also basically legalizes cheating customers of their money.

He also mentioned that while in the past licenses were issued by the municipal administration, from now on this function will be performed by the Road Transport Directorate.

Linkaits says the system’s lack of supervision has resulted in the ‘90s coming back to airport’, resulting in an all-out war for passengers. «Latvia is becoming a third-world country in the eyes of investors and tourists. They think Latvian authorities are unable to control such a simple segment like taxi services. This needs to change!» said the minister.

Linkaits says so far Transport Ministry has done next to nothing to resolve the problem. «I have requested accounts on everything that has been done so far, and my priority is sorting out this situation this year,» explained the minister.

When asked about the plan to resolve the situation at Riga airport, Linkaits said the airport is not the only place where problems exist. He said the same problems are present at Liepaja airport.

«One solution could be establishing stricter requirements at strategic locations (airport, railway station, coach terminal) in regards to taxi service quality. This is one direction. The other way is setting fixed tariffs for specific routes. For example, so that the costs of trips from Riga airport to Jugla, Bolderāja , or city centre are made clear,» explains Linkaits.


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