The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has reaffirmed its commitment to continue the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service beyond the end of the current concession granted to Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), a private operator.
According to Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt, the BMA plans to enhance the service by increasing the number of BRT bus stops and the fleet size, with the aim of improving convenience for passengers.
Only 10 of the 25 BRT buses are currently operational, resulting in extended wait times of at least 15 minutes. Moreover, dedicated BRT lanes are often obstructed by private vehicles, particularly during rush hours on Rama III Road, causing further delays to the service.
To address these issues, the BMA intends to boost the frequency of the BRT service and strategically add more stops near pedestrian crossings, following a successful approach implemented in South Korea for feeder-service passengers.
Chadchart made clear that the BMA is committed to improving the BRT service, rather than discontinuing it. As part of their preparations, a budget of 13 million baht has been allocated to hire a new company responsible for operating and maintaining the BRT system. Additional staff, such as maids and security guards, will also be recruited.
The BMA aims to secure a new operator within the next month, prior to the expiration of the current concession. Under the existing agreement, BRT charges a fare of 15 baht to approximately 9,000-10,000 passengers daily, while BTSC generates revenue from advertising fees.
The BRT route presently spans 16 kilometers, connecting Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road to the Ratchada-Ratchaphruek intersection. This allows passengers to transfer to the BTS Skytrain at Chong Nonsi and Talat Phlu stations. (NNT)