BMTA plans to buy 3,183 NGV buses
- Published: 4/01/2013 at 01:45 PM
- Online news:
The Transport Ministry will seek approval for the purchase of 3,183 buses fuelled by natural gas at the cabinet's next meeting on Tuesday.
The ministry claims that the deal would make the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) profitable by 2014.
Transport Minister Chatchart Sittipan said on Friday that the cabinet will consider whether to approve 13 billion baht for the new buses. Under the deal, normal "hot" buses will be purchased at three million baht each and air-conditioned buses four million baht each.
Mr Chatchart said it is more cost-effective to purchase than to lease, as the BMTA is currently facing a shortage of serviceable buses. With 40% of the fleet out of service, only about 2,500 buses are currently in use.
The new buses will run on compressed natural gas (sold as NGV) instead of diesel, which would reduce the monthly fuel bill from about 200 baht to about 100 million baht. At the same time, the maintenance crew for each vehicle will be decreased from four to two workers.
Mr Chatchart pledged that there will be no lay-offs and said if everything proceeds according to plan the BMTA will be able to reverse its 70 billion baht accumulated loss and turn a profit of 266 million baht by 2014.
The State Enterprise Policy Office, an agency of the Finance Ministry which oversees state enterprises, had approved the purchase of these NGV buses last year, he said.
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