A fleet of electric vehicle (EV) buses will take over the route previously plied by the old No.8 buses which are ceasing operation, according to the Department of Land Transport (DLT).
The new buses will hit the road from Aug 20 and the curtain will be drawn on the old No 8s, which have failed to pass the standard of operation under a sweeping reform of bus routes being introduced by the DLT across Bangkok.
The all non-air-conditioned No 8 buses run from Happy Land in the eastern outskirts of the city to Memorial Bridge, covering a distance of 30 kilometres, said Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.
The No 8 route will be renamed Route 2-39. Initially, 20 EV buses will be deployed on the route from a total of 40 buses. The changes will see old buses being progressively replaced by vehicles which are environmentally friendly.
The transport minister said the DLT has instructed the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and its co-operators to consider launching more EV buses on their routes. Transport Co Ltd, which operates interprovincial buses, will also follow suit.
By the end of this year, the ministry targets deploying at least 1,000 public EV buses in and outside Bangkok. The agency originally planned to have 3,200 EV buses in service nationwide.
DLT director-general Chirute Visalachitra said the department was working to tackle confusion by commuters from the re-numbering of bus routes. A public relations campaign has been set up both online and offline to clear up any doubts as to the changes being made, he added.
A source in the Transport Ministry said Thai Smile Bus (TSB) has won the concession to replace the operator of the No 8 bus route.