11 July 2024

The board of directors of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRT) has decided to cut fares on the Purple Line train service to a maximum of 20 baht, effective from December 1. Fares for children and the elderly will be cut to between 7 and 10 baht.

Previously, the State Railways of Thailand decided to cut the fares of the Red Line suburban train service, from Taling Chan through Bang Sue to Rangsit, to a maximum of 20 baht, in the New Year.

MRT Governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas said Thursday that the board’s decision will be submitted to the Transport Ministry today (Friday) for approval, before it is tabled for the cabinet to finalise.

He said that the new fares, of 14 baht to 20 baht, will cost the MRT about 190 million baht in lost revenue per year, or 60% of its revenue, adding, however, that the fare cut will increase the number of daily commuters using the service by about 10,000, to 66,000.

Each train has 23 carriages which can accommodate more than 200,000 passengers a day.

Of the 16 stations over the 23km Purple Line route, Pakapong said that passengers travel, on average, through eight stations and the average fare is currently about 23 baht.

To offset the revenue shortfall, the MRT governor said they will notify the Finance Ministry of the need to reduce the revenue earned from the Blue Line and from its real estate development project and sent to the Finance Ministry each year, estimated at between 20 and 25% of the total revenue.

For the Blue Line, which is operated by Bangkok Express Metro Company (BEM), he said that the MRT has been working with the company on the amount of subsidy required to offset its loss in revenue if the fare is cut to 20 baht, from a current maximum of 42 baht, in line with the government’s policy to cut the fares on all train services in Bangkok and its suburbs to a maximum of 20 baht.