PATTAYA – A growing number of Pattaya residents say the baht-bus stops the military ordered built are a waste of money and don’t correspond to how people actually use public transport.
In their efforts to bring order to the chaotic baht-bus system, the National Council for Peace and Order had Pattaya paint 168 stopping zones on streets across the area. The goal was to have the pickup truck taxis and tour buses stop only in designated areas, not wherever they wanted, as they normally do.
That hasn’t happened. Baht buses continue to stop, double-park, pick up and drop off people as they always have. Except for those in front of large shopping malls or office buildings, the stops are ignored.
The problem, some complain, is that the stops were built without any consultation or regard to how people actually use public transport. Furthermore, they say, some stops were built in the wrong place.
For example, some bus stops are located in front of businesses where customers used to park, hurting business. Others were built in areas that no longer have baht bus service.
Naklua resident Tuean Ngamsom, 51, said there is a stop on Naklua Road at the old market, but there hasn’t been a public bus serving it for a long time.
Before the restricted zone was painted, people used the space for temporary parking. Now there’s a shortage of parking, she said.
Many in the public say city hall and the army need to rethink their strategy and study how people use public transport instead of pulling a plan out of thin air and imposing on the public.