City Hall to Announce Fate of BRT Bus on Monday

An undated photo of a bus at BRT Ratchapruek. Photo: Matichon

BANGKOK — An overwhelming number of people favored keeping Bangkok’s rapid bus transit system in a recent poll publicized by City Hall on Thursday.

A month after coming under fire for announcing the imminent demise of the Bus Rapid Transit system, the city was back with the results of a poll showing strong public sentiments for keeping the big buses running through south-central Bangkok.

Of the 3,500 people surveyed since Feb. 21, over 80 percent said they wanted the BRT to stay, including nearly all of those who are regular users. Without the BRT, riders indicated they would have to commute by riding at least two public buses or expensive motorcycle taxis. They overall supported raising the 5-baht fare to sustain the system.

Read: Fix, Don’t Kill BRT Bus Service, Commuters Plead

Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang will announce a decision on the bus system’s fate on Monday, said Vallop Suwandee of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

The survey was conducted by Kasem Bundit University. It surveyed nine groups of people including regular BRT users, drivers who share the road with the dedicated-lane service, members of the business community, and residents along the line’s route.

The BRT system, with its single Sathon-Ratchaphruek line, launched in 2010 and runs almost 16 kilometers along Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road, beside the Chao Phraya river on Rama III Road, and across the Rama III Bridge before terminating at the Ratchaphruek stop. Its general fare was reduced from 10 baht to 5 baht in 2013.

Vallop Suwandee, chief advisor to the Bangkok governor, conducting polls Feb. 21 on the BRT line. Photo: Matichon