Bus firm to call on govt to provide financial support

Bus firm to call on govt to provide financial support

The operator of No.8 buses on Monday prepared a letter calling on the government to waive its 1.4-billion-baht debt and have the Department of Land Transport (DLT) renew its contract.

Thiraporn Methisariyapong, manager at Thai Bus Transport, said her company, which runs No.8 buses, will file the letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.

She said the company has not been able to renew its operations permit with the DLT.

She said her company was granted a valid operations permit by the DLT valid from Sept 1, 2016–Oct 31 next year.

In 2019, the DLT initiated a bus route reform plan, prompting bus operators to reapply for a permit.

However, Ms Thiraporn said after doing so, the DLT told her that Thai Bus Transport did not meet standard requirements and was not granted a permit.

She said she has tried to get an explanation from the DLT over the matter and even applied for another permit but it has been putting off the request.

Ms Thiraporn said her company follows every standard requirement set by the DLT.

The company also offered to replace old buses with 25 air-conditioned vehicles within 180 days after a permit is granted, she said, adding all non-AC vehicles would be replaced in two years.

Non-AC buses are being phased out under Bangkok Mass Transit Authority's bus service reform plan.

Ms Thiraporn indicated that the government should waive the company's 1.4-billion-baht debt to the BMTA so it can solve its financial problems.

"Bus operators have never been subsidised by the government," she said. "For 10 years we have endured economic downfall and disasters that affected our business."

"Now the [coronavirus] pandemic has [negatively impacted the business]," Ms Thiraporn said.


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