Agencies to propose ways to lower public transport fares
The heads of public transport agencies are expected to meet on July 30 to propose several measures to support the government's plan to cut public transport fares.
The meeting was planned after Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob ordered agencies responsible for public transportation to carry out a study to help decrease the cost of living in Thailand. Ultimately, the decision will be made by the Central Land Transport Control Board (CLTCB).
The deputy permanent secretary of transport and the president of the CLTCB, Chirute Visalachitra, said that after the proposals have been forwarded to the minister, the board will immediately meet to consider them.
The director of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), Surachai Eamvachirasakul, said he is currently reviewing three policy options, which are based on the data it compiled from various surveys -- including the daily total number of passengers and the average amount spent on public transport each day -- to determine which option will translate into more reductions on fares.
On July 5, the CLTCB allowed the BMTA to raise the price of weekly and monthly tickets for its bus services.
The price of weekly tickets for non-air conditioned buses has been raised from 100 to 120 baht, while monthly tickets now cost 255 baht, up from 200 baht.
Meanwhile, the weekly ticket price for BMTA-operated air-conditioned buses has been raised from 400 baht to 488 baht, while the monthly pass is now priced at 1,020 baht, up from 800 baht.
The new prices will come into effect Aug 1. Meanwhile, the managing director of Thailand's Transport Co, Jirasak Yaovatsakul, said that the company will follow the CLTCB's decision.
Anat Arbhabhirama, the chairman of Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited's advisory board, said the company is looking forward to seeing the government's policies and will try its best to comply with the board's decision.
That said, a source who asked to remain anonymous said the Department of Rail Transport is looking to negotiate as some studies have shown that a lot of people disagree with the idea of subsidising the cost of rail trips with taxpayers' money.