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Monday, June 17, 2024

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Commits to Enhancing BRT Service

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has announced its plans to continue operating and improving the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service beyond the current concession granted to Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), a private operator. The BMA aims to enhance the service by increasing the number of BRT bus stops and the fleet size to enhance convenience for passengers.

Currently, only 10 out of the 25 BRT buses are operational, resulting in extended wait times for passengers. Additionally, dedicated BRT lanes often face obstructions from private vehicles, causing further delays during peak hours on Rama III Road.

To address these issues, the BMA intends to increase the frequency of the BRT service and strategically add more bus stops near pedestrian crossings, taking inspiration from a successful approach implemented in South Korea for feeder-service passengers.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt emphasized that the BMA is dedicated to improving the BRT service rather than discontinuing it. A budget of 13 million baht has been allocated to hire a new company responsible for operating and maintaining the BRT system. The BMA will also recruit additional staff, such as maids and security guards, to ensure the smooth operation of the service.

The BMA aims to secure a new operator within the next month before the current concession expires. The BRT currently serves approximately 9,000-10,000 passengers daily, charging a fare of 15 baht per ride. The revenue generated from advertising fees supports BTSC.

The BRT route spans 16 kilometers, connecting Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road to the Ratchada-Ratchaphruek intersection. Passengers can conveniently transfer to the BTS Skytrain at Chong Nonsi and Talat Phlu stations.

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