Cash-strapped BMTA gets green light for 7.5 billion baht loan

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The Thai Cabinet approved a more than 7.5 billion baht loan to the debt-ridden Bangkok Mass Transit Authority.

Deputy Government Spokesperson, Trisuree Trisaranakul, yesterday reported that the cash-strapped BMTA would borrow 7.516 billion baht from the next year’s budget because it lacked financial liquidity.

Trisuree added that BMTA has been facing cash-flow problems due to operational losses and lack of compensation. The state-owned bus operator has been collecting fares that are lower than actual operating costs and has an outstanding debt of 132.56 billion baht.

According to the report, the loan would be used to pay off 2.25 billion baht fuel debt and a maintenance debt of 1.422 billion baht. There rest of the money, 3.84 billion baht, would be used to improve financial liquidity.

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Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the new spokesman of the Centre for Economic Situation Administration, revealed the government was close to upgrading all old public transport to electric vehicles (EV).

Thanakorn revealed the BMTA had signed a contract with an EV bus company and there would be 224 electric buses servicing passengers in Bangkok starting from November.

The Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchop, added a rather fanciful figure to this news, saying he expects about 1,000 EV buses to be in circulation by the end of the year. That would take some doing to get almost 800 extra EV buses on the road within a month of the launch.

Thanakorn added that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha also wants to encourage EV tuk tuks. He said the government wanted the country to be a manufacturing base for EVs in the ASEAN zone.

Thailand has plans in place to develop facilities to support EVs and move to a zero-carbon society in the future.

SOURCE: Thairath | Matichon

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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