Welfare cards applicable to subway next month

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BANGKOK, June 12 (TNA) - Welfare cardholders will be able to use their cards for electric trains, starting with the Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) subway on July20.

Welfare cards for low-income earners will be applicable to the MRT subway service in Bangkok from July 20 onwards but they have to register for the service at subway stations from July 6 to Sept 30 from 11 am to 8 pm.

Chaiwat Thongkhamkoon, director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning said that in the first stage, welfare cardholders will be able to use the MRT subway, run under the concession granted by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand. The same system is prepared for the Airport Rail Link, which will be ready for welfare card users in November.

When the system is completed, it is expected there will be new electric train passengers to use the public transportation in line with the government’s policy.

The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority reported about 27,000-30,000 welfare cardholders currently use their cards to pay for the bus fare each day and it costs about 5 million baht a month. Each person has 500 baht in their cards to travel by bus or train each month.

The Transport Co Ltd, operator of inter-provincial bus service said about 20,000 passengers use the welfare cards for inter-provincial bus travelling or about 6 million baht each month. It is seeking approval for installation of Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machines at more minor stations to promote the use of welfare cards for bus travelling. (TNA)