BMTA director Kittikan Chomdoung said that as of January 2022, the average number of passengers was 400,000-500,000 per day, down sharply from the pre-pandemic period when average daily passenger traffic was in the range of 900,000 to a million.
The sharp drop in passenger traffic had directly affected BMTA's revenue, Kittikan said.
In 2021, BMTA recorded total revenue of THB7-8 billion while expenses amounted to THB13 billion, resulting in a loss of THB5-6 billion.
In 2022, the pandemic problem has been aggravated by the Omicron variant, which had caused the number of bus passengers to decrease further, Kittikan said.
At the end of 2021, before November 1 when the government opened the country, around 500,000-600,000 passengers on average used the bus services per day.
If the government manages the Omicron problem and can control the outbreak, he believes that people will be more confident and once again travel by bus. It is expected that the number of passengers will increase to 600,000 per day this year, resulting in BMTA’s revenue in 2022 growing by 10 per cent over the previous year, equivalent to THB7.7 billion to THB8.8 billion.
A rehabilitation plan is also being considered to expedite the process of procuring electric buses and hire private companies to run the vehicles due to the deteriorating bus condition from serving huge numbers of people. He said the BMTA is in the process of finalising information on hiring a private entity to run the buses, especially on routes that have a large number of people using the service. The details are expected to be finalised by February.
Published : January 19, 2022
By : THE NATION