BANGKOK, 1 May 2012 The Cabinet has agreed to extend free bus and train services for low-income commuters for another six months to help them tackle high cost of living. The construction of electric trains in Bangkok will be expedited in order to live up to the commitments the government made during the last election.
Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke said the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday had resolved to extend the assistance measures until 30 September 2012 from the previous termination date of 30 April 2012. The renewed free transport scheme will cost the government around two billion baht in compensation for the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority and the State Railway of Thailand.
The Cabinet has assigned the Ministry of Transport to study free bus rides in 70 routes for more accurate numbers of passengers during the morning and afternoon periods. As for the free trains, there are 80 free trains at present. Passengers need to show their identification cards in order to receive a free ticket.
The minister said the Cabinet also urged the Ministry of Transport to speed up the electric train projects which have not yet begun. The Blue Line and the Red Line have already started in the pre-construction stage.
(NNT : Chindarat Bovornboriharn)