The Ministry of Transport is now working closely with the Ministry of Finance to help operators of double decker buses to convert to the safer single decker bus after they were considered unsafe following several fatal bus crashes involving double decker buses.
The move by the two ministries came after the prime minister voiced concern of the safety standards of double decker buses and instructed relevant government agencies to resolve the problem.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said yesterday that the prime minister voiced concern at the cabinet meeting over the safety of double-decker buses after these vehicles were involved in a number of accidents.
The prime minister then ordered the Ministry of Transport to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance to allocate financing to facilitate operators in converting their current vehicles into single-decker or regular buses.
He said the prime minister was especially concerned over the safety of passengers who travel on what is classified as Type 30 buses which are privately owned chartered double-decker buses which do not ply specific routes.
He suggested if financing support could be provided to bus operators to convert their buses for more stable single-decker types to reduce the number of double-decked buses on the roads as quickly as possible, similar to what the government has done in lunching a financial support program for van operators to convert to minibuses as a template to help expedite the transition.
According to the Land Transport Department, there are over 5,000 Type 30 double-decker buses currently operating in the country. Most were locally assembled
These type of buses were not allowed to be registered or extended registration since 2016 because they could not pass safety test.
This followed after the department in March last year reduced its maximum height requirement for double-decker buses from 4 meter 30 cm to 4 meter, and has taken action to continually reduce the number of these unsafe buses.
The Land Transport held a meeting Monday to strictly regulate routes that double-decker buses will be allowed to run to limit the possibility of further accidents while the number of these vehicles is gradually reduced before finally being banned.