Thu, August 18, 2022

in-focus

Chadchart to hold talks with BTSC on reviving monthly discounted tickets


Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt on Wednesday promised to hold talks with the city's Skytrain operator to revive monthly discounted tickets for adults and students.

Chadchart gave the pledge to Saree Ongsomwang, the secretary-general of the Thailand Consumers Council (TCC), after he held a meeting with her at the Rama Gardens Hotel on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road to hear her proposals regarding the Skytrain fares.

Chadchart said he would talk to the operator, Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), and ask it to sell discounted monthly tickets for adults and students as proposed by Saree.

The TCC submitted five demands to Chadchart:

- Capping the price at 59 baht for the entire route must be cancelled but the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration may start collecting fares for extended routes of the Green Line.

- Cap the entire route fare, excluding extensions on both sides, at 44 baht

- Bring back monthly discounted tickets.

- Make public details of the BMA’s contract on extending BTSC’s concession to operate the trains until 2042, after expiry of the current base route contract in 2029. The BMA must not extend the concession contract but turn it into a private-public partnership contract.

- Make public details of the BMA’s concession contract that the BTSC claimed would allow it to raise fare cap to 65 baht.

Chadchart thanked the TCC for allowing him to meet its representatives to discuss the BTSC fare.

The Bangkok governor explained that the 59-baht fare for the entire route would cover the extensions while the BTSC is currently collecting a maximum of 44 baht for its base route.

Chadchart to hold talks with BTSC on reviving monthly discounted tickets He said if the fare is capped at 44 baht for the entire route, including the extensions, the BMA would receive no money from fare for the extensions on both sides.

He said the BMA would also have to consider how much it would have to subsidise the fare if the city administration caps the fare at 44 baht for the entire route.

Earlier, the Thailand Development Research Institute had recommended that the BMA start collecting fares for the extensions so that it would have money to repay its debt to the BTSC.

Chardchart has said he wanted the BTSC to start collecting the fare on the extensions at 15 baht but the entire route fare must not be over 59 baht. The BTSC replied that it would need a month to make preparations and reinstall price calculation software accordingly.

Regarding the call for the BMA to announce details of the concession contract and the contract to hire the BTSC to operate the trains for extended routes, Chadchart said the city administration has to first study whether the contracts allow it to make the details public.

Chadchart said the main concession contract expires in 2029 but a previous city administration had already signed another contract to hire the BTSC to operate the route from 2029 to 2042. This poses a legal hurdle for his administration to handle the train operation and fare rates.

He added that the hiring contract would result in the BMA paying over 10 billion baht to the BTSC each year.

Chadchart said he was studying a way to cancel the 2029-2042 hiring contract so that the BMA would be able to reduce the Skytrain fare to a maximum of 25 baht after the concession expires in 2029.

Published : June 29, 2022

By : THE NATION