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Transport to run minibuses on trial on interprovincial routes early July

The Ministry of Transport says it will begin trial service of mini buses on interprovincial routes, to replace the current unsafe commuter van service in early July.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. revealed yesterday that now it was in the process of finalizing specifications for the minibuses for the Transport Co to hold trial run of the minibus services.

The trial run will begin on July 1 and 55 minibuses will be used to run on 13 routes to the provinces.

He said each minibus will have a capacity of between 20 to 22 seats.

Meanwhile the Transport Co says that changing over to minibuses will be on voluntary basis as no public commuter van operator will be forced to convert their commuter vans to minibuses.

But it made clear that operators who still wish to run their vans will have to comply to stricter requirements.

With regard to preparations to regulate public commuter vans during the upcoming Songkran festival, the Transport Co yesterday announced that it will be setting up vehicle check-points at more than 200 rest points throughout the country.

Along with this, all public commuter vans must be equipped with GPS tracking devices by March 31 deadline.

Finally, the Transport Co also has set a strict maximum number of runs for every van and its driver each day to prevent some drivers stretching themselves to run more trips to make money but to the detriment of safety.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)