Government mulls revoking the legislation of 1983 which granted Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) the sole right to operate bus services in the city.
The cabinet, on Tuesday passed a resolution, that in effect, will revamp the public road transport service in Bangkok. The resolution will allow private bus operators to start services in the city, thereby encouraging competition which will hopefully result in improved public transport. Director General of Land Transport Department (LTD), Sanit Promwong, noted that the the resolution passed by the cabinet of 1983 has been in existence to date which granted BMTA the sole right to operate bus services in Bangkok and surrounding provinces.
According to the latest resolution passed by the cabinet, the private bus operators can avail concession by entering a contract with BMTA and once the resolutions are materialized, the operators would need to apply to the Land Transport Department for an operating license. This marks the transfer of authority from BMTA to LTD, thus making LTD the sole regulator and BMTA, one of the public transport operators. The general added that the resolution will make way for “fair competition”. A draft to amend the legislation of 1983 was also passed by the cabinet on Tuesday. Among a number of laws that are to be amended, ministerial regulation on issuing a license and regulations on license fees are also there.
LTD also announced that new bus routes will be charted and a criterion will be put to place inorder to select a quality operator from applicants. Promwong pointed out that the current bus routes will need to be modified so as to avoid traffic and improve connectivity. The timeframe for implementation of the resolution was however not provided.