MPs oppose Skytrain fare increases
MPs from three major parties are opposing an increase in fares on Bangkok's Skytrain system, despite Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt saying the fare hikes are in line with contractual obligations.
Their objections follow an announcement by the operator, Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), that it will raise fares to 17-47 baht from 16-44 baht on the Sukhumvit (Mo Chit–On Nut) and the Silom (National Stadium–Saphan Taksin) lines and the extended section (Krungthon Buri-Wong Wian Yai) of the Silom line starting on Jan 1.
The MPs from three parties -- Bhumjaithai, Pheu Thai, and Palang Pracharath -- have asked the House committee on transport to summons the relevant authorities to explain the fare increases.
They say the fare hikes will be a financial burden on commuters and want the Transport Ministry, the Interior Ministry, and other relevant agencies to see if the fare increases can be postponed.
However, Mr Chadchart said yesterday that the fare rises are as per the concession contract, and there is not much the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) can do to intervene.
The governor said the BMA had successfully negotiated with the system operator to postpone the fare hikes for two months, which was the best the BMA could do under the contract.
Mr Chadchart also said the BMA would be holding talks with the operator over the 40-billion-baht debt the BMA owes and that it will make sure that debt servicing is in compliance with regulations to avoid any legal complications.
Surapong Laoha-Unya, chief executive officer of BTSC, said the new fares will still remain below the ceiling fare, which is 21.52-64.53 baht and was authorised by the BMA.
- Skytrain fare