New bus route numbering system planned

New bus route numbering system planned

The Mass Transit Bangkok Authority tried a new system of bus route numbering, also using colours and English letters, in 2017 but it drew complaints and was scrapped shortly after the test run. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
The Mass Transit Bangkok Authority tried a new system of bus route numbering, also using colours and English letters, in 2017 but it drew complaints and was scrapped shortly after the test run. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The Transport Ministry plans to renumber bus routes in Bangkok to make them easier for commuters to remember.

Chirute Visalachitra, deputy permanent secretary for transport, said on Tuesday the bus numbers  reassignment will be done within six months.

Greater Bangkok had 269 routes and his meeting with the Land Transport Department on Tuesday ended with a conclusion that the present bus route numbering was not friendly enough for passengers.

The new numbering system will be guided by zoning. Bangkok bus services, which are under the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), will be divided into four zones -- zone 1 covering northern Bangkok such as Don Muang and Rangsit; zone 2 for the western part including Nonthaburi; zone 3 the eastern routes such as Min Buri; and the southern area will be zone 4.

Mr Chirute did not go into further detail, but gave an assurance the new numbering will be easier to remember.

The BMTA is a state enterprise under the ministry.

Tuesday's announcement is just the latest effort by the ministry to make the numbering of city bus routes more commuter friendly.

In 2017, the BMTA tried it with new numbers and new bus-front colours and English letters corresponding to the four zones and services. For example, a bus painted in blue in front and the letter B showed it ran in zone B covering the western part of the capital. The letter E also told commuters that it would travel on an expressway.

The test run in 2017 was short-lived as it confused passengers, who bombarded the bus agency and ministry with complaints.

Mr Chirute said the new system will not renew the confusion, and English letters will not be used.


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