Private buses to slash services as diesel cost bites

Private buses to slash services as diesel cost bites

Transport Co timetable to operate normally

Private bus operators running at a loss because of the high cost of diesel plan to slash services by 80% from July 1. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Private bus operators running at a loss because of the high cost of diesel plan to slash services by 80% from July 1. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Twenty-seven private bus companies operating provincial and interprovincial routes plan to slash services from July 1 because of the soaring cost of diesel.

The state-owned Transport Company will continue to operate services as normal.

The Thai Private Bus Operators Association announced on Monday that 27 of its members had decided to reduce the freqency of their services by 80% from July 1. They could no longer bear the cost of providing full services.

Association chairman Pichet Jiemburaseth said the owners were running at a loss, about 1,600 baht on each trip  on average. He said the present fare structure was a problem. It had been in place since 2019,  when the diesel price was only 27.79 baht per litre.

The current diesel retail price is 34.94 baht in Bangkok, according to PTT Oil and Retail Plc.

Members of the association have a total of 20,000 buses. The anouncement did not say how many buses were operated by the 27 companies.

Bus companies reducing service frequency from July 1 include those operating on routes from Bangkok to other provinces, between provinces and inside provinces. One of them is Nakhonchai Air, which will reduce bus frequency on 29 routes.

Transport Co managing director Sanyalak Panwattanalikhit said on Tuesday the company had no plans to reduce services on domestic or international routes.

The company was looking into ways to help private operators running under Transport Co concessions, he said.

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