City readies up to 1,000 e-buses

City readies up to 1,000 e-buses

More environmentally friendly buses are coming to the city and up to 1,000 electric buses will be on Bangkok's streets by the end of the year, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob gave assurances to the cabinet about using more electric buses in the capital on Monday after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stressed the need to promote the use of electric vehicles, said the spokesman.

Quoting Mr Saksayam, Mr Thanakorn said about 1,000 electric buses are expected to serve Bangkok commuters by the end of this year.

The fleet will include 90 operated by private firms under a two-year contract to be signed with the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA).

These buses, which are expected to begin service in November, are part of the BMTA's plan to hire private firms to operate 224 electric buses in the city under a two-year contract.

A short-term contract is needed to boost the bus agency's capacity while its rehabilitation plan cannot be implemented. Currently, there are 2,885 BMTA-operated buses serving 107 routes.

In terms of service efficiency, the BMTA will increase frequency to 19,000 trips a day, up from the current 17,000, to accommodate a rise in the number of passengers. Due to rising fuel prices, the number of city bus passengers has increased to 707,000 per day from 600,000.

Together with another 750 new buses serving 77 new routes granted to private bus operators, frequency is expected to increase to 25,000 trips per day serving up to 1 million passengers by the end of this year.

Three-wheel tuk-tuks are also hoped to be replaced with electric tuk-tuks.

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