Rail discounts mulled as 'New Year gift'

Rail discounts mulled as 'New Year gift'

The board of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) will be asked on Tuesday to approve fare reductions of 40% for the Blue Line, the Purple Line and the Airport Rail Link electric train systems, a transport official said yesterday.

Chaiwat Thongkamkoon, the Transport Ministry's permanent secretary, said the proposed fare reductions will be for monthly tickets only. If the plan goes ahead, passengers will pay a maximum of 25 baht per trip, down from 42-45 baht.

"If approved the fare discounts are likely to take effect next month and will be a New Year gift for Bangkok commuters," he said.

However, Mr Chaiwat said the discounts are initially to be offered on an experimental basis which may only last one to three months depending on the board's decision.

On the proposed fare discounts during off-peak hours, Mr Chaiwat said the MRTA has yet to pick the format.

He pointed out that the Transport Ministry wants the MRTA to adopt fare discounts during off-peak hours to encourage the public to switch to the mass transit system.

A source close to the Transport Ministry said the ministry is also considering bus fare discounts with a 10- or 15-baht flat rate being considered for air-conditioned buses for which fares are currently based on distance travelled.

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