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Minister hopes to sort out Riga airport’s taxi problem soon

Фото: pixabay.com
In an interview to Rīta Panorāma on Monday, 11 March, Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits said he hopes to resolve the taxi problem at Riga International Airport by May this year.

Justice Ministry has criticized Transport Ministry for planned changes to the Law on Carriage by Road. Linkaits said the criticisms can be resolved.

‘Taxi business in Latvia, unfortunately, is still stuck in the 90s. Legislation, however, requires us to stop associating with bandits in the 21st century,’ Linkaits said, commenting on complaints received from Justice Ministry.

What happens next depends on what the government decides when reviewing amendments on Tuesday, 12 March. Linkaits says further corrections to amendments will likely be added by the Saeima. The minister adds that approval of changes to the law depends on the speed at which the parliament goes through the proposal. Still, he hopes it is possible to complete everything before May 2019.

Linkaits says law amendments provide stricter requirements for those who work at the airport. Changes also provide regulations to supervise smaller aspects of taxi business – mostly with passenger safety.

‘Anyone who pays taxes and has a legal business is welcome in Latvia. All those willing to be part of it will be included in the system,’ Linkaits said in his interview, commenting on complaints that planned changes will reduce the number of businesses in the tax industry.

Journalists of Rīta Panorāma said a common practice at the airport, when taxi companies pay to enter airport ground illegally, should be investigated by Interior Affairs Ministry. Linkaits agreed and said work is being done in this direction, adding that it is hard to catch people red-handed.

Discussing the possibility of shuttle buses operating to and from Riga airport, Linkaits said he has discussed this with Riga City Council and Rīgas satiksme five times, but they were not open to the option to extend the route for the 22nd bus.

‘The situation in Riga is that it is hard to say how things could turn out in the end,’ said Linkaits.


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