The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) has announced that new electric buses will likely begin operating in Bangkok in early 2023 if a plan to hire private operators is not delayed.
Discussing the new transportation campaign, Kittikan Chomdoung Charuworapolkul, chief executive officer of the BMTA, said the terms of reference (TOR) for electronic bidding would be finalized in August and the bidding could take place in September.
The BMTA, which operates public buses in Bangkok and has a budget of 953 million baht, plans to hire private companies to operate 224 electric buses to increase its capacity to serve up to one million passengers per day.
Bus shortages have compelled commuters to endure long wait times, particularly at night. The BMTA claimed it lacked sufficient funds to purchase new buses to improve its service.
Kittikan stated that the BMTA has also joined the Integrity Pact of the Comptroller General’s Department to ensure the project’s transparency. He added that in order to comply with the Pact, the project’s bidding terms would also be drafted under the supervision of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Currently, gasoline and natural gas cost the BMTA approximately 1.5 billion baht annually, while maintenance costs are 1.6 billion baht annually.
The use of the 224 EV buses is anticipated to save the BMTA approximately 70 million baht annually in fuel costs and 160 million baht annually in maintenance costs. (NNT)