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Trolleybus city: Riga [Lettland]

General Information

City: Riga (731.672 citizens)
Country: Lettland
Opened: 06.11.1947
Network: 281 km
Length: 338 km
Lines: 19
Vehicles: 250 Trolleybuses
Operator: RP SIA Rīgas satiksme
Remarks: In 2005 in rush hours 267 Tb are needed, now only 198 (state Dez.2011).

News for Riga

Date Headline
05.12.2016 Purchase of trolleybuses with fuel cells
23.02.2015 Delivery of the first 25 Solaris/Skoda 27Tr
16.12.2013 Route 27 Extended
15.07.2013 Contract for 125 Trolleybuses
25.02.2013 Tender for Articulated Trolleybuses Announced
09.03.2009 Delivery of the one hundredth Skoda 24Tr
05.01.2009 64 Skoda 24Tr delivered during 2008
10.11.2008 Further Skoda 24Tr delivered
28.04.2008 Delivery of the second batch of 150 Škoda 24Tr
30.03.2008 1st Charge of 150 delivered


line route length frequency1
1 Valmieras iela - Pētersalas iela km 11/18
3 Centrāltirgus - Sarkandaugava km 4/13
5 Daugavas stadions - Klīniskā slimnīca km 12-20
9 Stacijas laukums - Iļģuciems km 9-30
11 Centrālā stacija - Ieriķu iela km 8-20
12 Āgenskalna priedes - Šmerlis km 8-23
13 Centrāltirgus - Ieriķu iela km 16-29
14 Esplanāde - Mežciems km 6-19
15 Latvijas Universitāte - Višķu iela km 2- 7
16 Pļavnieki - Šmerlis km 7-17
17 Centrālā stacija - Purvciems km 4-10
18 Centrālā stacija - Mežciems km 6-20
19 Pētersalas iela - Ziepniekkalns km 4-15
20 Latvijas Universitāte - Televīzijas centrs km 35-60
22 E.Birznieka-Upīša iela - Pļavnieki km 3-12
23 Centrālā stacija - Purvciems km 3-10
24 A/s 'Dzintars' - Pētersalas iela km 15-34/-
25 Brīvības iela - Iļģuciems km 4-14
27 Stacijas laukums - Ābolu iela km 7-19

1 frequency: minutes peak / off peak

Lines: 19


numbers quant. vehicle delivery
1125, 1127, 1130, 2402, 2414, 2420 6 Skoda 14Tr, Bj.96/97 1998/99
1133 1 MAZ-103T/Ganz 2003
1301-1318, 2320-24 23 Skoda 15 Tr 1989-91
1426 1 Skoda 14Tr 2000
1600-1626, 2650-74 52 Solaris Trollino 18 T GN 2000-07
1800-1829, 2830-37 38 Skoda 24 Tr 2007-08
1945-1989, 2838-2859, 2900-2944 112 Skoda 24 Tr (mit Dieselaggregat) 2008-09
2500-2509 10 Skoda 15 TrM 98/00
2701-2703,2706-2709 7 Belkommunmash BKM 333 2001

Vehicles: 250 trolleybuses

The Skoda 24Tr are the mostly type in the car-park, here 2843 with a fifth controll-figure, not named in the list above. photo: Vadims Falkovs


Riga (Latvia)
General Info

With 719,613 inhabitants in 2008, Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States, though its population has decreased since 1991.

Public transportation in the city is provided by Rīgas Satiksme which operates a large fleet of trams, buses and trolleybuses on an extensive network of routes across the city. In addition, many private owners operate minibus services. Riga is connected to the rest of Latvia by trains operated by the national railway company Pasažieru Vilciens, whose headquarters are in Riga. There are also international rail links to Russia and Estonia (Valga).

Rīgas Satiksme is a publicly owned body which operates public transport and vehicle hire in the Latvian capital Riga and its surrounding areas. The organisation's principal activities involve the operation of the city's 460 buses, 318 trolleybuses and 252 trams [1]. It is also responsible for the operation of the city's car parks. It currently employs some 6500 staff members.


Rīgas Satiksme was formed on 20 February 2003 as an umbrella organisation for the respective operators of trams, buses and trolleybuses in the city of Riga. Two years later, the separate operators of the different modes of public transport were merged together and re-branded as Rīgas Satiksme, making it the largest provider of public transport in Riga.


In 1924, the first buses were placed into service in Riga, initially operated by private companies, although by 1941 all buses in the city were taken over by the state. In the years between the end of World War II and the break up of the Soviet Union, buses were under the control of the Ministry of Road Transport and latterly the city's Executive Committee. The 1960s saw vast improvement in the bus network, with the building of a new central bus station and the introduction of new Ikarus vehicles. In 1970, conductors were replaced by automatic ticket machines as the principal method of fare collection, although conductors were re-introduced in 1996. Until 1992, the bus network comprised two separate entities, and both were in desperate need of modernisation as they were re-structured into one single oragnisation. 1997 saw the introduction of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and the bus network has seen steady modernisation thereafter.

As of 2005, Rīgas Satiksme was responsible for the operation of some 460 buses on a total of 57 routes across the city and its suburbs, as well as 15 regional routes connecting Riga with its surrounding towns. Buses are by far the most modern mode of public transport in the city, with a variety of models in service, including many newly delivered articulated and rigid vehicles built by Solaris (Urbino), Mercedes-Benz (Citaro, O345) and brand new Ikarus buses for regional routes, although many older Ikarus vehicles are still used in everyday service. As of 2007, all of the old Ikarus vehicles have been removed from everyday service.

Bus routes
Number Start point End point

1 Abrenes Street Pansionāts
2 Abrenes Street Vecmīlgrāvis
3 Pļavnieki Bolderāja
3a Riga Central Station Voleri
4 Abrenes Street Pinķi
4z Abrenes Street Zolitūde
5 Abrenas Street Mežciems
6 Dreiliņi Riga Central Station
7 Abrenes Street Stīpnieki
8 Riga Central Station Zolitūde
9 Abrenes Street Saules dārzs
10 Abrenes Street Brūkleņu Street
11 Abrenes Street Jaunciem's cemetry / Suži
12 Abrenes Street Cooperative "Ziedonis"
13 Kleisti Preču 2
14 Abrenes Street Zvēraudzētava
15 Jugla -3 Dārziņi -2
16 Abrenes Street Mucenieki / Garkalnes Mucenieki
17 Abrenes Street Leisure Centre "Lido"
18 Abrenes Street Dārziņi -2
19 Jugla -3 Sarkandaugava
20 Pļavnieku Cemetery Pētersalas Street
21 Imanta -5 Jugla -3
22 Abrenes Street Riga International Airport
22a Esplanāde Riga International Airport
22b Abrenes Street Zolitūdes Street
23 Abrenes Street Baloži
24 Abrenes Street Mangaļsala
24a Abrenes Street Vecāķi
25 Abrenes Street Mārupe
26 Abrenes Street Katlakalns
27 Imanta -5 Pinķi
28 Jugla -3 Langstiņi
29 Jugla -3 Vecmilgravis
30 Riga Central Station Bolderāja
31 Jugla -3 Dārziņi -2
33 Abrenes Street Kundziņsala
36 Imanta -5 Vakarbuļļi
37 Imanta -5 Esplanāde
38 Abrenes Street Dzirciema Street
39 Abernes Street Lāčupe's Cemetery
40 Ziepniekkalns Jugla -3
41 Imanta -5 Esplanāde
42 Riga Central Market Ziepniekkalns
44 Zolitūde Ziepniekkalns
46 Zolitūde Ziepniekkalns
47 Abrenes Street Šķirotava
48 Pļavnieki's Cemetery Sarkandaugava
49 Rumbula MAN-TESS
50 Aberenes Street TEC-2
51 Abrenes Street Ulbroka
52 Abrenes Street Pļavnieku Cemetery
53 Esplanāde Zolitūde

Regional bus routes
Number Start point End point

826 Riga Vangaži
827 Riga Saurieši
829 Riga Ropaži
830 Riga Jugla
831 Riga Kākciems
835 Riga Upeslejas
843 Riga Ķekava
844 Riga Ķekava
852 Riga Mežsētas
853 Riga Jaunmārupe
854 Riga Jaunmārupe
859 Riga Mežsētas
863 Riga Skulte
959 Riga Kalnciems


All buses are painted in a livery of blue and white, although buses operating on the regional lines are predominantly yellow.


The first trolleybuses in Riga entered service in 1947, using a portion of the budget initially set aside for the new tramway, with the intention of moving slightly slower trams away from the city centre to allow for faster trolleybuses. The service was operated initially by Soviet-built units, although these were later replaced by Škoda vehicles brought in from Czechoslovakia. Conductors remained on trolleybuses for 5 years after they disappeared from the buses, with electronic ticket machines replacing them in 1975. Conductors were re-introduced to the trolleybus network in 1997 and have remained in use to this day.

Rīgas Satiksme is responsible for the operation of some 20 trolleybus routes throughout the city. Although modernised in recent years through the introduction of new Solaris trolleybuses, the system is still operated mainly by elderly Škoda units.

Trolleybus routes
Number Start point End point

1 Pētersalas Street Valmieras Street
3 Riga Central Market Sarkandaugava
4 Šmerlis Riga Central Market
5 Daugavas Stadium Riga Clinical Hospital
7 Ķeguma Street Āngenskalna priedes
8 Ābolu Street Town Hall Square
9 Iļģuciems Town Hall Square
11 Ieriķu Street Riga Central Station
13 Ieriķu Street Riga Central Market
14 Mežciems Esplanāde
15 Višķu Street Latvian University
16 Šmerlis Katlakalna Street
17 Purvciems Riga Central Station
18 Mežciems Riga Central Station
19 Pētersalas Street Ziepniekkalns
20 Latvian Television Latvian University
22 Katlakalna Street E. Birznieka Upīša Street
23 Purvciems Riga Central Station
24 Pētersalas Street A/S "Dzintars"
25 Iļģuciems Brīvības Street


Trolleybuses are painted in the same two tone blue and white livery as buses, although some are in special overall advertising liveries.


Trams have been in operation in Riga longer than any other mode of public transport, with the first horse-drawn trams entering service in 1882. In 1900, it was agreed that a number of electric tram lines would be built in the city, the construction of which continued until the outbreak of World War I. Operation of the tramways remained largely unchanged until 1918 and the emergence for the first time of Latvia as an independent nation, when a Belgian company took over. This period of private ownership was deemed a failure, and the city authorities regained control of the tram network in 1931. World War II devastated Riga's public transport system, and it was gradually re-built to its current level.

Trams remain of the principal modes of transport in Riga, with Rīgas Satiksme operating almost 300 units on 11 routes across the city. The bulk of journeys on the tram network are operated by fairly elderly Tatra T3 units, which have been in service in Riga since long before Latvia became independent of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In 2002, "Rīgas Vagonbūves Rūpnīca" signed an agreement with the Mayor of Riga which will see the company replace the trams in Riga once their period of operation ends in 2010. The new trams are set to offer enhanced comfort and safety, as well as being far quieter than the city's current fleet of elderly Tatra units. According to RVR they will feature bright and spacious interiors and will be 20-30% more power efficient than their predecessors. The new units are expected to be produced at a rate of 15-20 per year and will result in a gradual phasing out of the Tatra tramcars.

Tram routes
Number Start point End point

1 Imanta Jugla
2 Tapešu Street Central Market
3 Shopping Center "Dole" Jugla
4 Imanta Central Market
5 Iļģuciems Mīlgrāvis
6 Jugla Riga Central Station
7 Shopping Center "Dole" Ausekļa Street
8 Mežaparks Tapešu Street
9 Shopping Center "Dole" A/S "Aldaris"
10 Bišumuiža Central Market
11 Mežaparks Riga Central Station


Most trams are painted in regular Rīgas Satiksme two-tone blue and white livery, although some are in special overall advertising liveries.


A flat fare of LVL 0.40 per single journey (LVL 0.50, if buying ticket from tram or trolleybus driver) is currently in operation by Rīgas Satiksme within the city boundaries. This applies to all bus, tram and trolleybus services. Fares on the regional bus routes range from LVL 0.40 to LVL 1.40 per single journey.

The method of fare collection on public transport in Riga has, since 1996[8] , been by conductor, and indeed this practise is still widespread on buses operated by Rīgas Satiksme. On the city's trams and trolleybuses, conductors have been phased out, and now passengers are required to pay their fare directly to the driver and composter their tickets with one of the composters in the tram or trolleybus. This has happened, because of lack of workers who would ever work as conductors. Tickets are also available for purchase from some news kiosks (newsagents) like Narvesen, Preses apvienība, Pluspunkts and others.

It's also possible to buy monthly tickets, which are valid for: one month, all the week's workdays and holidays, for a week.

Other services:
Car parking

Rīgas Satiksme took over the operation of car parks in Riga in 2005, the first of which was built in 1993 to introduce parking charged to the city. Electric parking meters were introduced in 1994 with the assistance of both Riga City Council and local authorities in Helsinki, Finland. Since 1996, the operation of car parks has gone hand-in-hand with the responsibility of the removal of illegally parked vehicles in the city. In 2001, it was decided that vehicular access to the city centre would be allowed only through use of a smart card, and such cards were later introduced as a method of payment for parking. A system of parking charges by SMS was introduced by Rīgas Satiksme in 2005.

Vehicle rental

Vehicle rental, initially operated by SIA Rīgas domes autobāze, was set up in 1992 with the main goal of providing vehicles to Riga City Council, although it now offers rental services to the general public. Operated by Rīgas Satiksme since 2005, the service currently boasts 180 rental vehicles, comprising cars, minibuses, coaches and ambulances.


Although the public transport network is generally well integrated and efficient, several problems can be noted in the day-to-day operation of the system. Issues concerning passenger safety arise from the layout of the tramway on many streets in Riga, whereby the tram lines are positioned in the centre of the road, with a lane of motor traffic on either side. As a result, it is necessary for passengers to cross the road in front of moving vehicles when boarding or alighting tramcars, although it is widely accepted that motor vehicles should stop behind stationary trams. As in any city of this size, public transport can become very crowded at peak times, and capacity boards on Tatra T3 tram cars show that as many as 167 standing passengers can be accommodated at any one time. This situation is not helped by the current system of fare collection on the trams, where passengers pay the driver at the front of the tram and then have to move to the middle of the tramcar to have their ticket stamped by a machine (a composter). There are also great problems with fare evasion on trams. Most units consist of two separate tram cars joined together, and since only the front car is manned, people can simply board the rear car and not pay the fare. This is possible due to the lack of conductors currently employed on trams in the city. Staff safety is also a problem on the Rīgas Satiksme network. On the trams, drivers do not have a vault to place money into, rather the money is placed into grooves on the dashboard. The driver's cab on the tram is not covered, making theft and assault easy. This problem is also evident on buses and trolleybuses with conductors placing money in an open pouch. Finally, although Rīgas Satiksme employees are issued with uniforms, they are not required to wear them and it can therefore be difficult to distinguish employees from passengers.