The first private-run bus service between Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan and Ramathibodi hospital in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district was launched on Tuesday (Jan 16) for a five-day free trial run.
The company, Marat Transport, was granted a licence by the Land Transport Department to operate air-conditioned bus service between Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Institute in Bang Phli district and Ramathibodi hospital.
The entire bus route covers a distance of 61 kilometres and each of the buses used for the route has 31 seats and standing space. Fare rates range from 13-25 baht depending on the distance.
Passengers can take free rides between Jan 16-20.
A Thai PBS reporter boarded one of the buses on Tuesday for the trial run and found the service satisfactory as the bus is new, modern and equipped with GPS system, e-ticket machine, a wheelchair lift as well as a door signaling system for the blinds.
The launch of the private-run bus service is in accordance with the cabinet’s decision on Sept 27, 2016 to partially privatize bus service in Bangkok and its peripherals which is monopolized by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority in order to promote competition and to give commuters alternative choice.
The next route to be privatized is beween Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom and Mor Chit bus terminal. Chaiviset Transport was granted a permission to operate the route which is expected to be launched next month.
Five-day free ride will also be offered for bus passengers.
Air-conditioned buses will be used for the route and each will have 21-30 seating capacity with no standing space. Bus fare for the whole route is set at 40 baht per trip.
Commuters are urged to voice their opinions on the new bus services through the Land Transport Department’s Bus Routes Reform Facebook page.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)