Van services relocate to 3 bus terminals
Few snags reported as move to new stations begins
Over 4,000 inter-provincial vans were relocated from Victory Monument and the BTS Skytrain stop in Chatuchak to the city's three bus terminals.
Deputy Transport Minister Ormsin Chivapruck said Tuesday the relocation received full cooperation from van operators and drivers who brought their vehicles to park at the terminals: Mor Chit 2 (for the North and the Northeast), Sai Tai Mai (for the South) and Ekamai (for the East) bus terminals.
The move came after a number of vans were parking in busy spots often without permission, causing traffic congestion and snarl-ups.
Aside from Mr Ormsin, the relocation effort was also inspected by Land Transport Department director-general Sanit Promwong, Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) board chairman Pol Gen Aek Angsananont and executives from Transport Co Ltd. Mr Ormsin said no problems were reported during the relocation as the ministry has been working on the transition plan with the police and military for some time.
He said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also stressed the move would not affect commuters and travellers.
Shuttle buses, provided by the BMTA, are also available to transport passengers to the three bus terminals free of charge.
The shuttle buses will run from Victory Monument to Sai Tai Mai, 4.30am-8.30pm; from Victory Monument to Mor Chit 2, 5.30am-8.30pm; and from the Chatuchak BTS Skytrain stop to Mor Chit 2, 05.30am-8.30pm.
The frequency of the shuttle bus service will be adjusted according to demand from passengers.
Mr Ormsin, however, admitted several passengers were still confused about the shuttle bus stops and which line would take them to which terminal.
"The ministry will step up efforts to publicise the relocation and the schedules of the shuttle buses including the numbers of public buses which will go to the new terminals," Mr Ormsin said.
Officers will also be stationed at each shuttle bus stop at Victory Monument to provide information to passengers while the BMTA has also erected signboards with information about the shuttle buses and their respective new terminals.
The ministry, along with military and police agencies, also jointly established a war room, chaired by Mr Sanit, at BMTA headquarters to assess the relocation operation and report any problems so they can be passed on directly to Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
As for talk of a passenger fee cut as part of the transition to the three bus terminal locations, Mr Ormsin said a survey, which will take about three months, must be conducted before making decision, adding the ministry will further discuss the issue with state agencies.
Meanwhile, BMTA director Surachai Iamwachirakun said the agency has prepared shuttle buses for every route to accommodate passengers, adding they will depart every 10 minutes.
Saeng Maneechan, a 34-year-old Lop Buri resident who travels back and forth between Bangkok and her hometown every day, said she knew nothing about the relocation until she turned up Tuesday and found that it was already in motion.