Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport and Communications and the national rail transport operator LTG Link have signed a passenger transport agreement for the period between 2023 and 2032 aimed at creating even more convenient conditions for rail travel, including those with individual needs.
The agreement sets out an ambitious objective of significantly increasing the number of passengers transported by train underlining that by 2025 the operator must increase the ridership to 6 million, and by 2030, of up to 10 million passengers. During January – November 2022, LTG Link transported almost 4.3 million passengers. The average annual amount of co-financing for passenger transport is expected to reach EUR 40 million, which will allow not only to ensure the necessary financing, but also to update the train fleet.
“The agreement with LTG Link has, for a decade, anchored the parties’ desire to further encourage citizens to choose train travel as well as increase the attractiveness of train journeys and improve the quality of services provided. Also, this agreement will increase the quality requirements for the company, will help strengthen control, coordinate schedules and provide long-term financing. What is extremely important – we are laying a solid foundation for the renewal of the entire train fleet,” the Minister of Transport Marius Skuodis said.
The long-term public service agreement will also allow LTG Link to attract additional funding from the Lithuanian and international financial markets for new electric trains, fully adapted for passengers with special needs.
“Long-term funding will allow us not only to plan and implement what passengers need today, but also to plan for the renewal and expansion of a fleet of trains that is accessible to all people. With the changes planned over the next ten years, we hope to make a targeted contribution to promoting sustainable rail travel, reducing the environmental impact of transport and increasing the accessibility of rail services across the country,” Linas Baužys, CEO of LTG Link said.
The Ministry of Transport and LTG Link have agreed on the procedures for establishing train routes, public service quality requirements and control measures. LTG Link will coordinate each year the preliminary timetable for next year’s train operation. The aim will also be to better adapt bus routes to train timetables and to ensure further passenger journeys.
The agreement also provides for the possibility for the municipalities concerned to contribute to the improvement of rail public services by addressing the peculiarities and needs of each region, coordinating train and local public transport routes, setting up park & ride facilities as close as possible to train stations, creating a single ticket system or taking other measures to encourage as many people in the region as possible to choose travel by train.
The passenger transport agreement will also promote the use of more sustainable public transport and reduce the impact of transport on the environment.