Bangkok’s notorious No 8 tamed as city buses go electric


Bangkok’s notorious Bus line No 8 will be tamed with the addition of 20 electric buses from August 20.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said that the first 20 electric buses for Line No 2-38, previously known as the No 8 route from Memorial Bridge to Happy Land, will start operating on August 20.

The resurrection of the No 8 service – once notorious for reckless driving, road accidents and bad-tempered staff – is part of electrified restructuring conducted by the Land Transport Department (DLT). In the first phase, 150 new buses will be deployed on routes across Bangkok.

Diesel buses will be replaced by electric vehicles on routes run by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), public-private operators, and the Transport Co Ltd.

DLT aims to replace old buses with 1,000 electric units this year and eventually electrify Bangkok’s entire fleet of 3,200 buses.

DLT director-general Jirut Wisanjit said the department was working with the public to clear confusion over the change of bus numbers. The new numbers will be posted on buses and websites.

Operators of the old No 8 service reportedly failed to meet new BMTA safety and service standards and were refused a concession extension.

Thai Smile Bus Co Ltd has won the concession to operate its replacement, the new line 2-38, which will use electric buses and AI technology to make life easier for passengers.