No free bus rides by early 2018

A BMTA "hot" bus provides free rides for passengers along a designated route in Bangkok.(Bangkok Post file photo)

The free bus service will be totally phased out by early 2018 after installation of the common ticketing system is completed on all buses of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, BMTA director Surachai Iamwachirasakul said on Monday.

There were about 800 buses providing free rides, he said. The first lot of 200 buses will be taken out of service in September, the second in the last quarter of this year and the last of them in early 2018. 

Mr Surachai said the free bus ride service will be cancelled because the common ticketing system will be  compatible with the social welfare service payments to low-income people using the national e-payment system of the Finance Ministry.

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