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Proposal to Limit Mass Transit Fares in Greater Bangkok to 20 Baht Moves Forward

Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit announced a plan to cap fares on all mass transit lines in Greater Bangkok at 20 baht by September the following year. The new fare regime, set to be implemented for the Green, Gold, and Airport Rail Link lines lastly, aims to cover all routes. This adjustment comes after the previous plan to apply the 20-baht cap across all rail networks in Greater Bangkok by March 2026 was revealed just two weeks prior. The intention behind this affordable fare policy is to enhance ridership on public transport and ensure accessibility for all commuters.

With currently eight operational lines in Greater Bangkok, the estimated compensation for the revenue loss resulting from the fare cap is around 8 billion baht. It remains unclear if this amount constitutes one-time or annual payments. Additionally, upcoming lines must adhere to the 20-baht fare limit per ride in their contracts. The initiative began with the Purple and Red lines in September of the previous year. Data up to May showcased an 18% increase in ridership, totaling 20.86 million passengers on these two lines combined.

Subsequently, the Pink and Yellow lines are set to implement the fare cap by June of the following year, followed by the three final services – the Green, Gold, and Airport Rail Link – projected for September 2025. The Transport Ministry plans to present a draft bill to the cabinet for the establishment of a common ticketing system that could potentially become law and come into effect next year.

These mass transit lines are managed by three separate entities – Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, Bangkok Expressway, Metro Plc (Bem), and the State Railway of Thailand – each with their individual fare collection systems. Fares currently begin at 16 or 17 baht depending on the route. Suriya anticipates that annual ticket revenue from the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) and the Energy Conservation and Promotion Fund can be utilized to offset the operators’ losses.

While Bem retains the authority to adjust fares until the 20-baht cap fare is enforced, the new fare structure for the Blue Line, increasing from 17 to 45 baht, is slated to commence on July 3 following cabinet approval this month.

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