Anyone who’s spent time in Bangkok recently will have noticed the sorry state of many of the buses. Although there are a number of large, comfortable air-conditioned buses fighting their way through the city’s traffic, there are also plenty of small, old and outdated buses as well. Known locally as ‘green boxes of death’ the smallest of Bangkok’s buses have a reputation for being unsafe.
However, the good news is that the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) plan to launch a new bus fleet. Although the bus fleet had been proposed in the past it had been rejected as being too costly to the government. However, new studies show that the new bus fleet will cost much less than expected and actually help the BMTA back into the black.
As far as the balance sheet and financial status were concerned, “The BMTA is practically bankrupt”, Pallapa Ruangrong, a member of the Energy Regulatory Commission was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post this week. “Doing just a little thing now will at least help the BMTA stop the bleeding.”
The BMTA recently announced a total debt of 67 billion baht. The new buses are expected to generate much needed extra revenue for the BMTA and hopefully reduce the amount of traffic on Bangkok’s clogged roads.