5m join holiday exodus
About 5.29 million people set out on trips on Wednesday, a day before the long holiday began yesterday, according to the Transport Ministry's road safety centre.
The centre cited figures of cars leaving Bangkok and passengers leaving the capital using public transport services. About 2.55 million passengers left Bangkok on Wednesday using public transport, including buses and vans, said Anon Luangboriboon, deputy permanent secretary for transport. The figure, however, was 1.12% less than expected, he said.
The number of cars, most of which were personal vehicles (2.74 million), left Bangkok the same day, in a 39.76% higher-than-expected figure, he said.
No public transport passenger was left stranded due to service shortages, and no major traffic congestion was reported during the mass exodus of holidaymakers from Bangkok, he said.
A total of 39 road accidents were reported on Wednesday, leaving five dead and 44 other injured, he said, adding that most accidents occurred in Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Saraburi, the main route from Bangkok to the North and the Northeast.
Transport Co said it had on Wednesday laid on 4,502 bus and van services with a combined capacity of serving 63,321 passengers. The company yesterday laid on more than 6,000 such services with a combined capacity of serving more than 200,000 passengers.
A 6.22% rise (about 2.1 million people) in the number of people travelling from one province to another is expected between Wednesday and Sunday, said Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.
Other than ensuring sufficient public transport services to handle the expected increase in travellers, the ministry is also implementing Covid-19 prevention measures on every public transport service.
Several destinations received a larger-than-usual number of tourists seeking to indulge themselves in fresh air in the provinces during this long holiday.