Government urged to subsidise Bangkok transport

Government urged to subsidise Bangkok transport

Users say system is costly, inconvenient

The government is urged to consider subsidising all forms of public transportation in Bangkok to reduce travel costs for commuters in the city. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
The government is urged to consider subsidising all forms of public transportation in Bangkok to reduce travel costs for commuters in the city. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The government must consider subsidising all forms of public transportation in Bangkok to reduce travel costs for commuters in the city, a forum was told.

About 100 people, including residents, on Thursday attended a forum organised by the House committee on consumer protection, Thailand Consumers Council (TCC) and the Foundation for Consumers. It aimed to garner consumer opinion on Bangkok's public transport and how systems can improve.

There, residents of Bangkok and its surrounding suburbs said commuting in the capital using public transportation can be inconvenient.

Bhuntin Noumjerm, Move Forward Party MP for Bangkok and spokesman of the committee, said the quality of transport services in the city is rated as poor while fares are high.

He said the government should consider subsidising all forms of transportation in the capital, not only electric rail systems, which are now seen as the main mode of transportation.

Commuters also lack good, affordable transport services from the back roads and alleyways of where they live to connect to electric train stations, he said.

He said these opinions will be compiled and forwarded to the House of Representatives for consideration during the next deliberation of bills on public transport for communities.

Aphisit Mantri, the administrator of the Rotmaethai (Thai public buses) Facebook page, said the most common difficulty faced by commuters is insufficient operating vehicles, especially at night. This can cause long waiting times, he said.

There have also been passenger complaints about confusing changes to the numbering of some bus routes, he said.

Most commuters thought it didn't make sense why the authorities changed a numbering system that was familiar to everyone, he said.

Khongsak Chuenkrailat, an assistant secretary to the TCC's sub-committee on transport, said it is important to ensure that fares are affordable for all.

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