BMTA's NGV bus project revived
The Cabinet will be asked to approve the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority's scheme to procure 3,183 NGV buses worth a total of Bt13 billion.
Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said that he would submit the scheme for the Cabinet’s consideration on Jan 8.
Under this plan, the agency will buy both non-air-conditioned and air-conditioned buses, priced at Bt3 and Bt4 million each, respectively.
"Outright purchase is more worthwhile than hire-purchases, as because of hire-purchases BMTA would run out of buses when the contracts end. This is the problem that the agency is facing," he said.
BMTA has been infamous for its poor service. Operating with a big fleet of buses, BMTA now has only 2,500 buses running while 40 per cent are being fixed.
According to Chadchart, the NGV buses will also reduce the agency’s fuel cost, from Bt200 million a month to Bt100 million. BMTA also plans to cut the number of staff per bus from 4 to 2, but no staff would be laid off.
If things go as planned, BMTA which shoulders Bt70 billion in accumulated debt would swing back to the black ink with a Bt266 million net profit in 2014.