By THE NATION
Private and state-owned metropolitan train operators have welcomed Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob’s pledge to reduce rail fares to Bt15.
While the precise details of the new fares have not yet been announced, Bangkok Mass Transit System Executive Director Anat Arbhabhirama said he welcomed the idea and that his company, which operates Bangkok’s BTS “skytrains”, would cooperate with whatever the new government decided.
The Department of Rail Transport said that the fare reduction in state-owned services could be implemented immediately. Director-general Sarawut Songsivilai added that fares on the Airport Rail Link and the underground Purple Line trains, from Tao Poon to Bangyai, would be the first to be cut, if ordered.
Pakapong Sirikantaramas, director of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand, said the operator of Bangkok’s subway network would know more clearly how the fees would be implemented or subsidised by the government once the Transport Ministry had released more details of its proposed reductions.
The Ministry has set up a committee to study the feasibility of Saksiam’s proposal, which has been welcomed widely on social media outlets but dismissed as impractical by political analysts.
Saksiam said a meeting comprising 23 government agencies would be soon called to discuss the fare reduction.