Car owners face new tax burden

Car owners face new tax burden

The government is planing to make car owners pay a new tax to drive on some roads in the city in a bid to increase the use of public transport, the transport minister said yesterday.

The idea for the new tax on motorists is to decrease the number of car users in the city and ease traffic jams during rush hours, ACM Prajin Juntong said while presiding over the opening ceremony of an event on Ratchaprasong Road, ahead of Car-Free Day today.

ACM Prajin warned that millions of city residents depend solely on their own cars to commute around the city.

He said very few of Bangkok's residents walk short distances or use bicycles as their main form of transport, compared with residents of other cities in developed countries.

He said the government will speed up improvements to bus services operated by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority.

It will also step up efforts to develop 10 new rail routes to provide alternative transport to commuters.

City Hall has temporarily shut down several major roads to all motorised vehicles for Car-free Day. All lanes on Silom Road, from Sala Daeng to Narathiwat Ratchanakarin, have been closed until 6am tomorrow.

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