Rail ridership drops sharply

Rail ridership drops sharply

Ridership on rail systems nationwide has dropped sharply since the emergency decree came into effect to curb the spread of Covid-19 in March last year, according to the Department of Rail Transport.

Department director-general Kittiphan Panchan yesterday said the number of rail passengers between March last year to August this year showed almost a 90% decline compared to the same period before the pandemic.

Official figures showed ridership across all types of rail transport declined by an average of 88.8%, with interprovincial train services operated by the State Railway of Thailand suffering the highest drop of 90% to 7,896 passengers a day.

Ridership on the Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) system declined by 80% to 67,251 passengers a day, the Airport Rail Link (ARL) by 86% to 9,531 passengers a day and the BTS Skytrain by 82% to 130,240 passengers a day.

The drop has been attributed to the enforcement of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration, imposed on March 2 last year to curb Covid-19 transmission.

In addition to restricting travel, the decree also ordered public transport operators to allow enough space for social distancing by limiting their capacity.

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