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LONG-DISTANCE BUSES:Fare increase a last resort, says Santi
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    LONG-DISTANCE BUSES:Fare increase a last resort, says Santi

    LONG-DISTANCE BUSES

    Fare increase a last resort, says Santi

    Amornrat Mahithirook

    Transport Minister Santi Prompat insists he will consider raising inter-provincial bus fares only as a last resort, saying the ministry will help operators save on fuel costs.

    Mr Santi said yesterday he would find ways to help operators of inter-provincial buses stay in business despite soaring fuel prices.

    Fare increases would be a last resort as this would burden the public, he said.

    The minister earlier asked bus operators to freeze fares during Songkran and promised to consider fare adjustments after the festival.

    So far, no bus operators have demanded a fare hike, he said.

    The ministry could delay a fare increase by helping operators cope with rising fuel costs. For example, it could promote the use of compressed natural gas, which is marketed as natural gas for vehicles (NGV), he said.

    He would allow companies with more than 20 buses to set up an NGV station in their garage. This would cost them only five to six million baht and it would be a worthwhile investment.

    "This will help them cut costs," he said. Chairat Sa-nguansue, acting director-general of the Land Department, said the Central Land Transport Committee would meet tomorrow to discuss measures to reduce the operating costs of inter-provincial buses.

    However, Pichet Jiamburaset, president of the Thai Bus Business Association, said encouraging bus operators to set up NGV stations was impractical.

    An NGV station would cost at least 20 million baht and operators must run at least 100 buses for the investment to be viable, he said.

    Another obstacle was a shortage of tankers to transport natural gas to the stations.

    He said fares for short-haul buses may remain capped for the time being, but he wanted authorities to seriously crack down on illegal van operators who compete with buses for passengers.

    However, fares for long-haul buses, must go up, he said.

    Wutthichart Kalayanamitr, the manager of the state-run Transport Co, said he would consult the Land Transport Ministry about measures to tackle the problem of fake bus tickets.

    Bangkok Post

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    Re: LONG-DISTANCE BUSES:Fare increase a last resort, says Santi

    fuel prices are soaring. if fares need to stay the same, I am concerned companies will try to cut costs in other ways: skipping maintenance, pushing drivers to their limits, encouraging speeding.
    I don't know what Thai people would choose if they had a say in this matter, better service and higher prices, or lower prices and more risks taking a bus ride. - at the moment, the Chiang Mai-Bangkok route costs 520 baht in first class. must be 400-something in second class. it is a 9 to 10 hour journey. I know many Thais ARE poor and hard up, especially these days. but would a 10% or so rise in prices knock people out completely?
    difficult question.

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    Re: LONG-DISTANCE BUSES:Fare increase a last resort, says Santi

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post
    fuel prices are soaring. if fares need to stay the same, I am concerned companies will try to cut costs in other ways: skipping maintenance, pushing drivers to their limits, encouraging speeding.
    Heaven forbid that should ever happen, Betti !

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    Re: LONG-DISTANCE BUSES:Fare increase a last resort, says Santi

    Lower the speed of the bus from 100 kph to 80 kph could save them 20% in fuel plus less ware and tare. and pay the driver 1 hours over time, you will still come out in front. Make shore the bus is running at least 22 hours a day instead of 16 hours a day so there is lttle off time for efficiency.

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    Re: LONG-DISTANCE BUSES:Fare increase a last resort, says Santi

    it's not just about overtime wage, if a bus makes its way to its destination two hours earlier, then it can turn around and carry passengers the opposite way two hours earlier.

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