By THE NATION
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) will ease social distancing measures on public buses when lockdown measures are eased further in the fifth phase, and to accommodate the increase in commuters after schools reopen on July 1.
“In the fifth phase of the easing of Covid-19 lockdown, which will start on July 1, the government will allow schools and many entertainment venues to reopen, while the Ministry of Transport will allow public vehicles to carry passengers at 70 per cent of capacity,” BMTA director Surachai Iamwachirasakul said on Thursday (June 25).
“The BMTA will, therefore, relax the social distancing measures that have been implemented on public buses for almost two months, as we expect that after July 1 the number of commuters will jump to over 900,000 per day.”
The measures that the BMTA will employ after July 1 include:
1. Plying its full fleet of buses, or around 3,000 per day, and increasing the number of trips during rush hours. All buses will be cleaned thoroughly with disinfectants before commencing service and will be equipped with alcohol gel dispenser at the entrance.
2. Each bus will allow a maximum of 10 standing passengers with a one-metre distance between them as marked on the floor. Buses that reach capacity will display a sign on the windshield to inform commuters at bus stops.
3. Some bench seats (for two passengers) will be allowed for those who travel together or are from the same family. Previously only one passenger was allowed to sit on a bench seat.
“The other measures that we have been employing, such as checking alcohol level, blood pressure and temperature of all staff every day, will still be in place after July 1 while all staff and passengers must wear face masks all the time while on the bus,” added Surachai. “Passengers are also encouraged to scan the QR code to check-in and check-out via ThaiChana mobile application to log their travel record, which will be helpful in tracing the spread of Covid-19."