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BMTA to propose 2-baht bus fare increase for all buses

Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), the city's bus service provider, will seek approval from the State Enterprise Policy Committee for an across-the-board two-baht increase of bus fare.

BMTA board chairman Nuttachat Charuchinda said Thursday (Jan 11) that the standard and quality of the city buses had been improved up to the same level of the service provided by its affiliated operators who are charging nine-baht bus fare.

If the bus fares of all the bus routes operated by the BMTA are adjusted by about 30 percent as wished to reflect the real operational costs, he said that the city bus agency's financial situation and cash flow would be improved within 3-5 years.

Mr Nuttachat said the board would propose the bus fare increase of 2 baht, from 6.50 baht to 8.50 baht or 9 baht, for the State Enterprise Policy Committee's approval on Jan 19.

As for the air-conditioned Euro Two bus service, Mr Nuttachat said the two-baht increase to be sought by BMTA would raise the bus fares from 11-23 baht to 13-25 baht per trip.

He explained that the bus fare increase would be included in the city bus agency's rehabilitation plan which also encompasses cost cutting and investment plan.

Veerapong Wongwaen, president of BMTA labor union, maintained that fare increase would help resolve the agency's chronic debt problem.

He claimed that the operational cost of hot and air-conditioned bus service were estimated at 15 baht and 20 baht respectively for a ride whereas the bus fare per trip are 6.50 baht and 11-23 baht respectively.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)