Tram in Riga, Source: Riga Municipality

Riga will overhaul two of its tram lines for better accessibility

Riga will overhaul two of its tram lines for better accessibility

Low-floor trams will run on Lines 5 and 7 by the end of 2023

Recently, we reported on the firmer commitment taken by Riga’s authorities to better environmental and all other types of accessibilities in order to make their city a truly inclusive one. And as a case in point, developments are already happening.

Yesterday, 1 March, the local Traffic and Transport Affairs Committee approved municipal participation in a project called ‘Adaptation of Riga tram infrastructure to low-floor tram parameters’. As its title aptly points out the aim is to upgrade public transit accessibility with the reorganization of the facilities that compose Lines 5 and 7 of this mode of transport in the Latvian capital.

The price tag for this project comes up to 43 million euros

The project is necessary and grand in scale since it involves the complete refurbishment of the fixed facilities on the above-mentioned lines. The purchase of low-floor trams is not enough if there is no supporting infrastructure to make them useful to commuters.

“The participation of the municipality in this project is an important step in the modernization of Riga's traffic infrastructure. It is especially important to submit a project application as soon as possible so that the work can start without delay already this year," stressed Olaf Pulks, Chairman of the Committee.

And sure enough, there is plenty of work to be done. It was reported that large sections of the tracks will be reconstructed and the platforms on several of the tram stops will be adjusted to correspond to the new vehicles and allow for smooth accessibility.

In the case of Line 7, a 8.6-kilometre section will be taken apart and remodelled, including the replacement of the electrical cables in order to increase the power capacity. Route 5 will see reconstruction over a 2-kilometre stretch.

The estimated cost of the project is 43 million euros, out of which some 36 million are expected to come from the EU Cohesion Fund.

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