B4bn budget for 489 NGV city buses

B4bn budget for 489 NGV city buses

For the fourth time, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) is calling for bids to supply 489 buses like the one above, running on compressed natural gas (NGV), and figures each vehicle should cost about 8.2 million baht with a 10-year warrantee, or a total of 4.02 billion. (File photo)
For the fourth time, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) is calling for bids to supply 489 buses like the one above, running on compressed natural gas (NGV), and figures each vehicle should cost about 8.2 million baht with a 10-year warrantee, or a total of 4.02 billion. (File photo)

The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) has announced a median price of 4.02 billion baht for its latest attempt to buy a new bus fleet of 489 vehicles running on compressed natural gas (NGVs).

Prayoon Chuaykaew, a deputy director for bus operations, said Tuesday the agency posted the median price for the bidding on its website on Monday along with the new terms of reference (ToR).

Public comment on the procurement terms will remain open until tomorrow. Opinions will then be incorporated into an amended draft of the ToR, which will be posted for a second online public hearing expected later this month, he said.

Bidding is due next month and the first 20 NGV buses should be delivered to the BMTA by the end of this year or early January, Mr Prayoon said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said earlier he wanted them on the road and serving commuters by year-end as a New Year's gift.

The BMTA recently scrapped its third attempt to purchase 489 NGV buses. No companies entered bids for the contract at an e-auction on Aug 24.

Last month, Deputy Transport Minister Pichit Akrathit said the bus procurement contract was valued at 3.3 billion baht.

According to Mr Pichit, the lower value discouraged private companies from throwing their hats in the ring.

Mr Prayoon said the BMTA has also extended the new contract deadline for delivering the procured buses to 120 days because 90 days appeared too tight.

However, the first 20 buses must be delivered within 40 days, with the rest to come in 120 days, he said.

The process for purchasing the 489 new NGV buses began last year but was further delayed after the BMTA revoked a 3.3-billion-baht contract won by Bestlin Group on April 12.

Bestlin was awarded the contract last September but failed to meet the delivery deadline because it could not get the imported buses out of Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri.

The Customs Department accused Super Zara Co, the firm's affiliate handling imports, of falsifying documents so the buses appeared to have been made in and imported from Malaysia.


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