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Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA)
Overview
Native nameองค์การขนส่งมวลชนกรุงเทพ
Owner Ministry of Transport
Area served Bangkok Metropolitan Region
Locale
Transit typePublic transit buses within the Greater Bangkok area
Number of lines118 Routes
Daily ridership3 million people per day
Headquarters Huai Khwang, Bangkok, Thailand
Operation
Began operation1 October 1976
Number of vehicles3,005 buses

Bangkok Mass Transit Authority ( Thai: องค์การขนส่งมวลชนกรุงเทพ pronounced [ʔoŋ kaːn kʰǒn sòŋ muːan tɕʰon kruŋ tʰêːp]), also known as BMTA (ขสมก. pronounced [kʰɔ̌ː sɔ̌ː mɔː kɔː]), is the main operator of public transit buses within the Greater Bangkok area. It is the largest city bus system in Thailand. The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority offers bus and van routes throughout the city and its suburban provinces.

The BMTA is a state enterprise under Ministry of Transport that started operations on 1 October 1976 upon the purchase and combination of the transportation assets of private bus companies, most of which had faced crises due to sharply rising oil prices since 1973. The government, in 1975, addressed the crisis by setting up a public-private joint venture called the Metropolitan Transit Company, Limited ( Thai: บริษัทมหานครขนส่ง จำกัด), but the effort failed to materialize. It tried again in 1976 by setting up BMTA as a fully state-owned enterprise under the control of the transport ministry.

Since then, the organization has been the main operator of city buses. However, some private bus companies opted to continue their service on certain routes under joint service contracts with BMTA instead of selling their assets to the state. Despite government subsidies, BMTA has posted losses from day one, resulting in deteriorating quality of service.

About

The BMTA service area covers the Bangkok metropolis and its suburban areas in the adjacent provinces of Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, and Samut Sakhon. It serves approximately three million passengers per day. The service hours are 05:00-23:00, except for a 24-hr night-owl service on some routes. As of March 2021, BMTA owned a fleet of 3,005 buses—1,520 ordinary buses and 1,485 air-conditioned buses. In addition to BMTA-owned buses, there are 3,485 privately-owned contract buses, 1,113 contracted minibuses, 2,161 side-street songthaews, and 5,519 vans. In total, there were 15,857 buses and vans for 427 routes across eight zones.

  • Zone 1: North (Hubs: Rangsit, Don Mueang, Bang Khen, Lam Luk Ka, Pathum Thani)
  • Zone 2: Northeast (Hubs: Min Buri, Siam Park, Bang Kapi, Lat Krabang, Nong Jok, Prawet)
  • Zone 3: Southeast (Hubs: Pak Nam, Samrong, Bangna, Bang Phli, Mega Bangna, Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo)
  • Zone 4: South and Central (Hubs: Khlong Toei, Thanon Tok, Sathu Pradit Pier, Rama III Rd, Rama IX Rd, Huai Khwang, Ratchadaphisek)
  • Zone 5: Southwest (Hubs: Dao Khanong, Phra Pradaeng, Phra Samut Chedi, Samae Dam, Samut Sakhon, Chaeng Ron, Maha Chai Muang Mai)
  • Zone 6: West (Hubs: Bangkhae, Thonburi, Wat Rai Khing & Samphran, Nakorn Pathom, Phasi Charoen, Sala Ya, Taling Chan)
  • Zone 7: Northwest (Hubs: Nonthaburi, Pak Kret, Tha-it, Bang Yai, Bang Bua Thong, Nakhon In, Muang Thong Thani, Lak Si)
  • Zone 8: Northeast and Central (Hubs: Siam Park, Bang Kapi, Ram Inthra, Lat Phrao, Huai Khwang, Chatuchak, Mo Chit, Bang Sue, Din Daeng, Ratchathewi)

Financials

For fiscal year 2017 ending 30 September 2017, the BMTA reported revenues of 8,114 million baht, total assets of 8,127 million baht, and a net profit of minus 110,550 million baht. [1]: 11 

BMTA's poor financial performance has prompted the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) to step in with a plan for "business rehabilitation". Its central strategies are the purchase of 3,000 new buses to halve fuel costs and lower maintenance costs, and the adoption of automated ticketing to make 5,000 ticket-takers redundant. The Finance Ministry may help defray the hundreds of billions of BMTA debt when the BMTA reaches profitability. [2]

Fare collection

The BMTA allows riders to board a bus and pay with cash or coupons. In 2017, the government planned to implement a common ticketing system across all mass transit modes, allowing passengers to pay with a single smart card known as the Mangmoom Card.

In December 2017, the BMTA abandoned a plan to install automated cash collection boxes as impractical, after having installed 800 of the devices. It halted the planned installation of the remaining 1,800 machines. The move prompted a Bangkok Post editorial to note that, "The fiasco reminds Bangkok commuters of just how poorly served they are and how inefficient and incompetent the agency [BMTA] is. Similar to its ageing bus fleet, the BMTA itself has reached a stage where its management desperately needs a revamp." [3]

The cash box plan was part of the agency's 1.6 billion baht automated bus fare collection project that also covers the installation of e-ticket reading machines on all 2,600 buses serving Bangkok routes. Since October 2017, 800 buses has installed the cash boxes, which required passengers to feed in coins one-by-one. The "improvement" proved far too slow to be practicable. [3]

The change would have resulted in the "replacement" of 2,600 bus conductors, according to the chairman of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority. The chairman originally stated that he expected workers would take up early retirement packages once all the buses were equipped with cashless card readers. [4]

Bus fleet

BMTA operates air-conditioned and ordinary buses from various makers, most of which are Japanese. The air-conditioned bus fleet consists of buses from Hino, Isuzu, Daewoo, and Mercedes-Benz (standard and articulated). The ordinary bus fleet consists of buses from Hino, Isuzu, and Mitsubishi Fuso. Ordinary buses are being phased out. Most buses are diesel powered, but they are being converted to cleaner and cheaper natural gas ( NGV). It operates new routes of NGV-powered vans, shuttling people between city center and suburban communities.

The BMTA has been working for 11 years to procure 489 natural gas-powered buses to replace its ageing fleet and is expected to complete the task in 2018. It plans to buy 35 electric buses and 2,476 hybrid buses in the future. [3]

As of March 2021, the BMTA fleet consists of the following bus

Air-Conditioned Buses

Model Year Introduced In Service Quantity by Zone Notes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Hino HU3KSKL 1995 79 24 55
Isuzu CQA650 A/T 100 15 85
Hino RU1JSSL 1998 198 15 30 53 40 50 5 (No.44xxx)
Isuzu LV223S 200 22 62 58 58
Hino RU1JSSL 2001 125 42 17 37 11 17 1 (No.45xxx)
Isuzu LV423R 123 107 10 6
Daewoo BH115H 16 16
Daewoo BH115 36 36 1 was renovated in 2016 (8-67132)
Bonluck JXK6120L-NGV-01 2018 489 124 105 110 150
Hino HU2ASKP-VJT 2020 1 1 Donated from JICA
Total 1,367 224 172 200 120 217 169 153 122

Ordinary Buses

Model Year Introduced In Service Quantity by Zone Notes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Hino AK176 1991 490 78 156 105 151
Isuzu MT111QB 529 103 191 205 30
Mitsubishi Fuso RP118 500 214 111 175 1 were renovated in 2016 (8-80040)
Total 1,519 181 214 156 216 151 191 205 205

See also

References

  1. ^ BMTA Annual Report 2017/2560 (PDF). Bangkok: Bangkok Mass Transit Authority. 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  2. ^ Chantanusornsiri, WIchit (6 May 2019). "Sepo nursing 5 enterprises back to health". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Revamp bus agency now" (Editorial). Bangkok Post. 15 December 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  4. ^ Charuvastra, Teeranai (12 December 2017). "1.6 BILLION BAHT BUS FARE BOX PLAN HALTED". Khaosod English. Retrieved 15 December 2017.

External links