BANGKOK — Look under Bangkok’s Christmas tree to find a little gift for city commuters – the MRT is decreasing some of its fares in December, the metro operator announced Wednesday.
Starting Dec. 25, the maximum fare for MRT Purple Line will be capped from 42 baht to a 20 baht flat rate for rides travelling two stations and above, but only on weekdays during off-peak period (9am to 5pm) and for the whole day on weekends.
For seniors and children under 14, the Purple Line fares will be halved to 10 baht. For students aged between 14 and 23, the fares will be discounted by 10 percent to 18 baht.
“The reduced fares are meant to raise ridership on the Purple Line,” chairman of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) Sarawut Songwilai said. “We expect 10 to 12 percent increase in the number of commuters.”
Downtown commuters travelling on the MRT Blue Line will also get discounted fares when adding 30-day trips to their prepaid cards.
The fares for 15 trips will be 780 baht (52 baht per trip), 25 trips for 1,250 baht (50 baht per trip), 40 trips for 1,920 baht (48 baht per trip), and 50 trips for 2,350 baht (47 baht per trip).
The trips can be used for rides between any stations on both the MRT Blue Line and Purple Line, but they are only valid for 30 days starting from when the first trip is used.
Although the maximum fare for rides between MRT Blue Line terminal stations of Tao Poon to Lak Song is capped at 42 baht, the metro operator said the promotion targets passengers travelling between the Purple and Blue lines, as they previously have to pay up to 70 baht per trip.
The promotion fares will be run for three months and may continue if the operator is satisfied with the outcome.
Good news for those demanding more stations: MRTA governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas said four more stations along the MRT Blue Line extension from the northern terminus at Tao Poon will be opened to the public for free test rides beginning early December.
The new stations include Bang Pho, Bang O, Bang Phlat, and Sirindhorn.
By early January, another four stations along the line – Bang Yi Khan, Bang Khun Non, Fai Chai, and Charan 13 – will become operational and thus completing the Blue Line loop at Tha Phra.