Bangkok’s public bus operator handed rescue loan of THB7.5bn
The Cabinet on Monday approved a proposal for cash-strapped public bus operator Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) to borrow 7.516 billion baht.
The BMTA has run up a debt of 132.565 billion baht as rising fuel costs take a toll on the operator.
The loan to boost cash flow will be guaranteed by the Finance Ministry, said government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul.
According to the Transport Ministry, BMTA lacks cash flow due to insufficient compensation for the losses incurred in operating the capital’s public bus service.
Revenue from fares is currently lower than costs, which have been driven up by the high price of fuel. However, fares cannot be increased, so the BMTA’s debt and interest are rising.
Currently, the bus operator is reviewing a rehabilitation plan to deal with its debt.
The 7.516 billion baht loan will go to pay the fuel costs (2.25 billion baht), repair fees (1.422 billion baht), and increase financial liquidity (3.844 billion baht).
BMTA also expects the loan to cut its interest burden by 180.95 million baht.