According to deputy transport minister Manaporn Charoensri, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) intends to purchase 2,013 additional electric buses within three to five years with a budget of about 5.5 billion baht.
The authority now spends 12.5 billion baht annually on financial costs, the most of which are related to the upkeep and fuel costs of 2,885 public buses. The strategy intends to lower such costs by at least 60%.
The BMTA recorded revenue of 7.8 billion baht last year, resulting in a 4.7 billion baht deficit.
Electric buses, according to Manaporn, have much cheaper fuel and maintenance costs than internal combustion engine vehicles, in addition to being more environmentally friendly. This would assist the city tackle the PM2.5 air pollution issue.
PM2.5 refers to airborne dust particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. Numerous chronic ailments, including acute lung and cardiac issues, have been related to long-term exposure to such tiny particles. One of the main sources of PM2.5 fine dust is traffic exhaust.
The three- to five-year plan was broken down into three phases by Manaporn. A total of 224 new electric buses worth 341 million baht will be introduced in the first phase. In the second phase, a total of 1,020 new buses would be purchased for 1.94 billion baht. The last batch of 769 electric buses will be purchased for 3.2 billion baht in the last phase.
To relieve the BMTA of the burden of maintenance costs, some of the bought buses will be taken on lease rather than purchased, he noted.
According to Manaporn, the BMTA will complete the plan’s drafting in six months, in time to propose it to the upcoming BMTA board.
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