Fares for buses serving Bangkok will rise next month by at least one baht and interprovincial buses will charge 10% more to help operators cover rising fleet costs.
The increases will take effect from Jan 21, said Peraphon Thawornsupacharoen, director-general of the Land Transport Department, after the central committee governing land transport approved the changes.
Ticket prices will rise by one baht on ordinary and air-conditioned buses operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority and its private partners. Commuters on CNG-powered, air-conditioned buses recently introduced to the capital will pay between 15 and 25 baht, an increase from 11-23 baht at present.
The panel also allowed private operators serving interprovincial routes under concessions from the state-owned Transport Co to increase fares by 10%, said Mr Peraphon.
The increases were intended to help operators cope with rising operating costs, which have forced some of them to terminate services, he said.
Mr Peraphon said 565 buses out of 3,712 operated by concessionaires had been taken out of service as they could not continue shouldering losses.
At least 1,000 buses in Bangkok had also ended service without notification, leading to long waits for commuters on some routes, he added.
The committee will forward its decision to Transport Minister Arkom Termpittayapaisith, who will consult with the government next week on possible measures to help service providers and passengers.
The panel would reconsider the fare increases if the government comes up with any relief measures, Mr Peraphon said, but the new ticket prices will be enforced if the government declines to offer any form of assistance.