BMA eyes tax cuts for park/ride lots

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration plans to offer tax breaks to private companies who open “park and ride” lots that get motorists out of their cars and onto public transport.

Manit Techaapichok, deputy city clerk, said the BMA would like to see Bangkok become a city where people mainly used mass transit, be it subway, skytrain or boat. Even bicycles and walking would be preferable to cars, he said.

The BMA hopes to cut number of vehicles on the roads 50% by 2017 when construction of a mass-transit route to the suburbs is due for completion.

To reach its goal, the city plans to launch a project to encourage private operators and department stores to offer parking lots for the public in exchange for a reduction in building taxes.

One example would be Secon Square, which offers parking spaces for commuters and the city plans to add a pier to the department-store complex to provide easy access to commuter boats.

Mr Manit said a survey showed Bangkokians made around 17 million trips a day, but that number is expected to rise to 26.2 million trips by 2021 with personal cars still the preferred travel mode.

Bangkok has seen its car population rise steadily in recent years. Total registered vehicles in Bangkok were 7.52 million in 2012, 8.21 million in 2013 and 8.47 million as of the end of June.

He said the BMA would work with Land Transportation Department to reduce the number of cars on the streets by making it more difficult to renew registrations for vehicles 10 years or older; or outright ban old cars as they produce more pollution than newer vehicles.

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