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Over 5 million escape Bangkok by car and public transport as holiday begins

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Connor Williams on Unsplash

The Transport Ministry says just under 5.3 million Bangkok residents have left the capital as the long holiday gets underway. Anon Luangboriboon says the exodus began on Wednesday, a day before the holiday period began. The Bangkok Post reports that the figures include those travelling by car and public transport, with 2.25 million leaving by bus and van. Anon says that number is 1.12% less than anticipated. However, 2.74 million personal cars have headed out of the capital, which is nearly 40% higher than expected.

The 4 day long weekend was announced 2 months ago as substitute holidays for Songkran and attempts to get Thais and expats, able to get the time off, to travel and stimulate the domestic travel economy.

Public transport services are understood to be running smoothly and at adequate levels, and there have been no reports of significant traffic congestion. The state-owned bus service, Transport Company, says that on Wednesday, it laid on 4,502 bus and van services, accommodating over 63,000 travellers. Yesterday, the number rose to 6,000 bus services and 200,000 passengers.

The Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, says officials expect the number of travellers making inter-provincial trips to rise by more than 6%, or over 2 million people. He says all public transport services will comply with Covid-19 safety measures – wearing face masks and social distancing.

Meanwhile, 38 road traffic accidents were reported on Wednesday as travel got underway. 5 people have been killed and 44 injured. Saksayam says most accidents occurred in Bangkok and the central provinces of Pathum Thani and Saraburi, as people travelled from the capital to the north and north-east.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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