Thailand: Govt approves new bus fare increase
The Transport Ministry has given the green light to increasing the price of bus fares in the capital, starting from April 22.
The fare for Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) red-cream ordinary buses will increase from 6.5 baht to 7.5 baht a trip, according to Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
Passengers on the non-air conditioned buses known as rot ruam will be charged 10 baht a trip, up from the 9 baht. Rot ruam buses are serviced by private operators.
The fare for air conditioned buses will rise from between 11 and 23 baht to the rate of 12-24 baht a trip.
The fare for NGV buses will start at 15 baht and be capped at 25 baht. It increases from the rate of 11-23 baht a trip.
According to the minister, the fares for intercity buses organised by Transport Co will rise by 10%.
Mr Arkhom said he wants people to voice their opinions about the BMTA services, either giving them encouragement or lodging complaints. “The fare hikes could help the BMTA and private operators have a better financial status,” Mr Arkhom said.
The fare hikes were approved by the Central Land Transport Committee (CLTC) on Dec 14, 2018, and due to take effect on January 21.
The CLTC, however, put the fare rise on hold, citing a need to encourage people to use public transport in the face of haze problems that have been troubling people.
About 15 million people are expected to use public transport during the Songkran festival, Mr Arkhom said, adding around 10-20% of them would be in Bangkok.
According to the minister, stringent efforts will be made to ensure bus drivers comply with regulations. Speeding or failing to pull over at bus stops must not be allowed, he said.