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BTS maximum fare set to rise; backlash mounts

by Tom

Talks between the DoRT and City Hall are expected to continue.

By Tom McLean

Bangkok’s Green Line BTS service is set to receive a substantial maximum fare increase on 16th February 2021 as a result of its expansion. At present, the cost ceiling is expected to rise from THB 65 to THB 104. Originally, set to increase to THB 158, this number has since been revised and lowered following a backlash from customers and public officials.

While the reviewed maximum fare is smaller than the one initially proposed, the cost-of-living impact on Bangkok’s denizens is still significant. The average minimum wage in Bangkok stands at THB 331 daily so the new maximum fare would equate to around a third of many citizens’ incomes, without taking return journeys into account.

Efforts to address this heavily criticised move are still underway and it remains to be seen whether or not the plan will be reversed or the cost further discounted. A variety of government bodies and officials are said to be enquiring with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) over their decision. Conversely, the THB 104 price ceiling could also be increased to THB 158 in the future, after the COVID-19 situation in Thailand becomes more stable.

If the fare increase continues as planned, sharing taxis may prove to be a more economical choice for groups travelling together, depending on the destination. Travel by buses and song thaews also continue to be far less expensive options.

Image: agoda.com

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