Caretaker Cabinet extends free train, bus services

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BANGKOK, April 1 — The caretaker Cabinet on Tuesday extended free third-class train and non-air conditioned bus services to the low-income Thai public for another one month to help reduce their cost of living.

Pakdeharn Himathongkham, acting deputy government spokesman, said that the caretaker cabinet has agreed that free rides on third-class trains and regular buses will last through April 1- 30. The free transport measures expired yesterday.

The issue will be forwarded to the Election Commission (EC) for approval.

The scheme would cost the caretaker government around Bt355 million as compensation for the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).

The measures began in 2008 during the administration of the late former prime minister Samak Sundaravej to assist low-income earners.

Under the free transport measures, the BMTA will provide 800 buses per day for free rides while the SRT will run 164 rail trips daily.