The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) aims to have all non-aircon buses off the roads by 2022.
“We plan to decommission all buses that have been in service for 29 years, particularly open-air buses,” acting director Prayoon Choygeo said recently.
The authority plans to upgrade the bus fleet with natural gas vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
Decommissioned buses still in relatively good condition would be donated to state schools, local administrative bodies and other state organisations in need.
“Buses in poor condition will be sold and their components recycled,” Prayoon said.
BMTA buses carry more than 1.2 million passengers around the capital and neighbouring provinces every day, generating Bt11 million in revenues.
An informed source said the BMTA decided to get rid of its open-window buses because temperatures are steadily rising due to climate change.
Air-conditioned buses, though the fare is higher, are now widely preferred, and low-income earners can receive state subsidies.
Welfare cards issued to people who earn Bt100,000 a year or less include Bt500 for bus fare.
The source said passengers who object to an end to open-air bus services “can make their voices heard”.