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BTS skytrain maximum fare rate increasing to 158 baht despite backlash

The Thaiger

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BTS skytrain maximum fare rate increasing to 158 baht despite backlash | The Thaiger

Bangkok’s BTS skytrain maximum fare rate is being raised to 158 baht despite receiving backlash over the hike. The Transport Ministry is behind the calls for City Hall to stop the increase as it says it is too expensive for the average commuter who takes the BTS 2 times a day. Saksayam Chidchob, the Transport Minister, says other routes should be explored before increasing the costs for commuters.

“The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration should halt its policy on new BTS maximum fare and wait for other authorities to find proper solutions.”

The BMA and Transport Ministry were jointly appointed to set the fare’s ceiling in 2018, but it appears the BMA is now taking control of the new price hike. The BMA and Interior Ministry were previously responsible for granting concessions for the skytrain’s operation but the Transport Ministry is also part of the reviewing committee for extending the concessions and overall investments in the country’s mass transit system.

But deals are being made by the BMA that appear to ignore the Transport Ministry’s equal role in making decisions and the ministry says such actions are breaching co-investment laws. It isn’t the first time the BMA has made decisions without the Transport Ministry’s joint approval.

Before the new hike in fares, it previously extended concessions to the current Bangkok Mass Transit System in order to keep the fare ceiling at 65 baht. Now, making a new deal that would see passengers paying more than double in total fares across the skytrain system is being seen as pushing the envelope.

What is not clear is why the fares are being hiked when the country is suffering economically due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the new maximum is set to rollout on February 16, Bangkok’s governor has offered to bring the new maximum down to 104 for a short period of time in consideration of the recent Covid outbreak.

But even increasing the fare to 104 baht is being widely opposed. The secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution says even the discounted rate is too expensive for daily commuters. And, the date for the discount ending has not been announced.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Loutarzoon

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Even in Europe, 4 to 5 times more in average living costs, its a lot cheaper.. Thais becoming slaves

  2. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Not only are the thais screwing farangs they are happy to screw their own people too it seems…..

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Well it is B90 to go one stop on a London bus, so for a Brit the Skytrain is a bargain.
    But that is only because the Thais have not worked out a viable way of charging a ferang more.

    • Avatar

      Don jones

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      So Thais living in London are being completely ripped off.No ?

    • Avatar

      Don jones

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 2:15 pm

      So Thais living in London are being ripped off as well as the plebs to pay for the ridiculous wages of London Transport staff

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 4:50 pm

        No, they are paying the local prices, which a great many foreigners are not allowed to do in Thailand.
        Consult 2price Thailand and see the photographs that show the Thai prices for admission in Thai script so that the foreigners will not understand what the Thais price is, and will not object to paying three time more than a Thai.
        THAIS IN LONDON ARE NOT RIPPED OFF. i NEVER WROTE AT ANY TIME THEY WERE!
        can’t you read?

        • Avatar

          Mr cynic

          Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 6:22 pm

          thais most certainly are ripped off in london when it comes to public transport costs along with everybody else who lives or visit the place,ask any Londoner and they’l soon put you right on that score.

          • Avatar

            Toby Andrews

            Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:31 am

            Yes they are, but they have the satisfaction of knowing everyone is being ripped off, not just foreigners, which is not the case in Thailand where they conspire to rip off forangs, and not Thais.
            I was shocked to see the latest public transport charges in London.
            I lived in London for ten years.
            What is gratifying is that the black taxis, who are some of the most expensive in the world, are stored in parks outside London. Not many will hire them.

        • Avatar

          Steve

          Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:50 am

          Absolutley right!

    • Avatar

      Me

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 5:04 pm

      What bus services in London charge you per stop?

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:24 am

        B90

        • Avatar

          Gazmo

          Monday, January 18, 2021 at 1:53 pm

          Buy a top up travel card similar to the Rabbit card here and you will pay alot less. You can not pay cash on London transport and the cards can be purchased in almost any Newsagent or Grocery shop. The current fare prices are a rip off and have now become a money maker for the Mayor of London to fund his daft cycle lanes throughout London.

  4. Avatar

    Ted

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    A simple question; does Thai uni’s teach ‘market research’? Do they have research data [that] says, the increased price will not scare away, an daily increasing, numbers of commuters?

    If they have done their research, well I feel sorry for those who uses BTS on a daily basis to make an income.
    If they haven’t done their research, still feels sorry for those who uses BTS on a daily basis to make an income

  5. Avatar

    John is my biggest fan

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Hahaha, the BTS is more expensive than the Hong Kong MTR!

  6. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    65 – 158 jump?

    Someone’s having a laugh.

    Even this farang would find an alternative, if possible.

    158 every day, twice a day, if you are one of those that have to pay the max would be tortuous if you were accustomed to only paying 65, which to be honest, for a Thai, still seems a bit high.

    Time for lots of people to find jobs closer to home, or time to shift homes.

    • Avatar

      Voteforme

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      If they triple the price and lose half the riders… they’re making more money.

      But ya, 9000b/mo. That’s more than most people’s rent.

      Bts should be free or Almost free especially for low income thai people, paid with the peoples tax money.

    • Avatar

      Ted

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      My wife used to pay 150/day (motorbike to and from the station + BTS train to and from to her office). She did this, even tough, she had a [choice] car but didn’t feel like sitting a few hours, through Silom and Sukhumvit, traffic jams, 5 days a week.
      I wonder how many more has the same option, I guessing quite a few so this won’t help with Bkk’s traffic situation, at all.

  7. Avatar

    Deke

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    I see a return to the use of bicycles.

  8. Avatar

    The elite

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    It is a screening process. If you do not want to pay the price, you can take cheaper ways of transportation like free buses and get stuck on the traffic with pollution. Soon there will be only high income commuters to use the BTS.

    • Avatar

      Babadoo

      Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 1:32 am

      why do they move to other areas across the BKK? let them work in their areas. people coming from remote areas are taking away jobs of locals. This not normal. Market.

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 12:13 am

    Hardly an incentive to use the BTS instead of the bus or a motor-bike taxi and so reduce pollution … ho hummm ….

  10. Avatar

    Leonardo

    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 5:58 am

    New York City Subway fare is approximately 75 Baht and you can go anywhere it goes for that price

    • Avatar

      Ted

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 11:00 am

      That gives us a perspective. Stockholm, where I worked before settling down in Bkk, approx. 160 thb for a single journey but that includes all different means of transport [buses, underground trains, commuter trains, trams, and certain ferry lines] you need to take to get from A to B.

      • Avatar

        John is My Biggest Fan

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:08 pm

        The longest journey on Hong Kong Island on the MTR (Chai Wan to Kennedy Town) is just 10.7HKD which is 41THB…

        Not only is the MTR much cheaper it’s clean, efficient, convenient and wait for it… underground. The BTS doesn’t even have escalators to all of its entrances/exits.

        The worst thing about the BTS – it an absolute eyesore.

  11. Avatar

    Dystophia

    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 11:37 am

    It’s seems the world is headed towards an economic collapse. The green economy is being pushed quickly. Eventually gas powered motorcycles, cars, trucks and other vehicles will be phased out as well. The cost of gasoline will be increased; eventhough Mataphut Oil Refinery is sucking it right out of the Gulf of Thailand. Greed is going to destroy this world. We may just have to go back to horseback, water buffalo riding, walking, or riding a bicycle. As it is, this all invisible enemy virus mumbo jumbo is bankrupting people into poverty.

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Protests

Motorists told to avoid certain areas in Bangkok as protests planned for today

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Motorists told to avoid certain areas in Bangkok as protests planned for today | The Thaiger

Bangkok motorists are being told to avoid areas where protests are planned to take place today. Kasetsart intersection, Lat Phrao intersection, Rachaprasong shopping district’s Central World shopping mall and 11th Infantry Regiment barracks in Bangkhen are the sites where demonstrators are set to infiltrate.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner says he is most concerned about the Lat Phrao intersection, due to the Redem or Restart Democracy group planning to hold a leaderless protest, which has been prone to violence in the past as demonstrated last Sunday. The group is an offset of the Free Youth movement, which is one of the main groups that have been demonstrating against the military-backed government.

The Redem protesters plan to march from the Lat Phrao intersection to the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Road, despite a law announced in the Royal Gazette last night which banned protests, mass gatherings and assemblies. The law stated the reasoning was not political, citing fears over Covid-19 instead.

The newly announced law would give the government a wider range of power in enforcing such public gatherings, with law-breakers being subjected to up to a 40,000 baht fine or up to 2 years in jail. The Redem group is expected to demand the release of core Ratsadon leaders and others being held in jail without bail.

The Ratsadon group reached the outskirts of Bangkok yesterday, after a nearly 250 kilometre-long march from the Thao Suranaree statue in Korat province’s Muang district province. But they were met by police who tried to prevent them from marching further into Bangkok, but eventually allowed them to keep marching until they reached the Kasetsart intersection. The group is expected to end the march tomorrow, at Democracy Monument.

Despite the groups’ plans to ignore the recent law that bans protests, police have warned that they will face charges if they defy the new order. 32 companies of anti-riot police have been placed on standby in light of the expected protests taking place in Thailand’s capital today.

SOURCE: Thai Pbs World

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Thailand

Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report | The Thaiger
October protest at the Asok-Sukhumvit intersection in Bangkok / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being absolute freedom, Thailand scores at 30, a “not free” country, according to the nonprofit Freedom House. Each year, the organisation reviews the political rights and civil liberties of countries around the world. According to their recent assessment, Thailand has declined in terms of rights and liberties, dropping on the scale from “partly free” to “not free.”

The main reason for the drop on the freedom scale, the organisation says, is “due to the dissolution of a popular opposition party that performed well in the 2019 elections, and the military-dominated government’s crackdown on youth-led protests calling for democratic reforms.”

The Future Forward Party was dissolved in February 2020 after the court found that the founder, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, had made a large donation to the party that exceeded the legal limit. The party’s leaders were then banned from politics for the next decade.

Youth-led protests started in February, but the demonstrations were put on pause due to Covid-19 restrictions banning large public gatherings. Protesters gathered in July as restrictions lifted, but some leaders then faced charges for holding a public gathering, which was still banned under emergency orders.

In October, the prime minister imposed what Freedom House calls a “severe” State of Emergency order in Bangkok that banned gatherings of more than 5 people. Some protesters were arrested for violating the order nearly immediately after it was imposed.

With activists pushing for monarchy reform and an end to the military’s involvement in government, raising subjects considered taboo and unprecedented in Thai society, the Thai government has increased its use of the draconian lèse majesté law. Since November, dozens of activists have faced charges for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

Freedom House scores countries on topics like the electoral process, questioning if politicians and leaders were elected in free and fair elections, as well as freedom of expression and individual rights.

Thailand’s military seized power in 2014 in a bloodless coup. The 2017 constitution was drafted by a committee appointed by the military’s National Council for Peace and Order. In 2019, the country transitioned to what Freedom House calls a “military-dominated, semi-elected” government.

The 2019 elections were overseen by the Election Commission of Thailand, whose members were appointed by the military. All 250 senators were appointed by the military in 2019 to serve 5 year terms.

In 2020, the combination of democratic deterioration and frustrations over the role of the monarchy provoked the country’s largest anti-government demonstrations in a decade. In response to these youth-led protests, the regime resorted to familiar authoritarian tactics, including arbitrary arrests, intimidation, lèse majesté charges, and harassment of activists. Freedom of the press is constrained, due process is not guaranteed, and there is impunity for crimes committed against activists.

SOURCE: Freedom House

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Protest in Bangkok on February 28 / Photo by Thai News Pix

A riot police officer, who was deployed at the recent pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, has tested positive for Covid-19. His supervisor, chief of Wang Thonglang station Ekapop Tanprayoon, says the officer had visited Samut Sakhon, a coronavirus hotspot.

Riot police who worked closely with the infected officer, Somyot Nuamcharoen, are ordered to quarantine. The Wang Thonglang police station and any items the police officer handled are being disinfected, the chief says.

The officer had met up with friends during a visit to Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok. He travelled to the coastal province on February 18 and returned to Bangkok the next day.

On the 20th, he was deployed to a protest outside of parliament, just after returning from his trip to the “red zone” province. On Sunday, he deployed the protest outside the military barracks in Bangkok. The demonstration turned violent and numerous people were injured.

On Tuesday, his friend from Samut Sakhon tested positive for the virus. The infected officer was tested for Covid-19 that day and his result came back positive yesterday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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