Bye Bye BRT: Bus service to stop at end of April

The city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service will stop on the last day of April. The service, which began just seven years ago, has suffered from ongoing financial losses due to the low number of passengers using the service, according to deputy city governor Amnoy Nimmano.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Amnoy, announced that a group studying the service met on Feb. 3 to report their findings that the BRT, which connects the Sathorn area with Ratchapreuk, should stop running since it is losing too much money.

The service, controlled by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), cost THB2 billion to start operations and the BMA paid the BTS controllers THB535 million to control the bus line’s operation for seven years. That contract runs out on April 30.

Instead of making a profit and serving the public, as it was intended, the service lost THB200 million for each year that it ran, reported Bangkok Post.

The panel announced that the line, despite slashing its fares from THB10 to THB5 per trip in order to entice customers, was still only used by about 25,000 people daily. Additionally, most of the line’s users have been senior citizens and students, who are eligible for even deeper discounts for rides.

The line was also unpopular since it used a special bus lane on Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Road and Rama III Road and drivers could not not use those lanes.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Amnoy said that standard bus services will be put in place to replace BRT service and that the special lanes will be able to be utilized by other drivers.

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