BMA Asks BTS To Suspend Planned One-Baht Fare Hike

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has pleaded with Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Plc to suspend the planned one-baht increase in Skytrain fares from January 1.

On Friday, Bangkok Deputy Governor Wisanu Subsompon said the City Hall had sent a “cooperation-seeking letter” to the Skytrain’s operator to reconsider and postpone a plan to increase fares, hoping to ease the financial burden on travelers using the elevated train system’s services.

According to the BMA, the BTS operator earns additional revenue from advertising, commercial space, and skywalks connecting its stations to buildings in Bangkok.

The Skytrain’s operator recently announced that it plans to implement a new fare program, expecting to charge between 17 and 47 baht per trip starting January 1. Currently, the service costs between 16 and 44 baht.

The company said it had decided to raise the fees in response to an increase in operating costs, adding that the new fares were still below the limit (21.52 – 64.53 baht) specified in its original agreement with the BMA.

In addition, the BTS explained that the new fares would apply to travel on the Sukhumvit Line, from Mo Chit to On Nut stations, and on the Silom Line, from the National Stadium to Saphan Taksin stations.

The new fares will also be charged on the Silom Line extension from Saphan Taksin to Wongwian Yai, the operator added.

However, the BMA has asked the BTS to delay the hikes. In addition, MPs from all three major parties – Pheu Thai, Palang Pracharath, and Bhumhaithai – have spoken out against the planned fee increases.

The three parties asked the House’s transport commission to summon the corresponding authorities to obtain an explanation for the increases.

Meanwhile, the BMA and the government remain embroiled in a dispute over 40 billion baht owed by the city to BTS Group Holdings for executing the Green Line’s extension.