Oil crisis : private bus companies… threaten to stop services

The oil crisis, like a poison, starts to fire a lot of secondary effects…

A quick sum’up :

-diesel prices hit all time high

-the gvt authorized an increase of bus fares (up to 21 %), for BMTA (public bus company in Bangkok) and for private bus companies

-but the Central Administrative Court issued a temporary injunction against the bus fare hikes

So now, new episode, the private bus operators are furious… But instead to fight the court injunction (totally surreal)… they choose another strategy : subsidy or… strike.

Good old recipe.

Owners of up to 10,000 private buses, minibuses and songtaew buses that run on diesel have threatened to stop services today in protest against high oil prices.

Private bus operators have also threatened to gather in protest in front of the Transport Ministry.

They will hand three demands to Transport Minister Santi Prompat, accordsing to Chatchai Chaiwiset, president of the Private Bus Service Development Association.

They want a subsidy for diesel prices above the 27.34 baht per litre used to fix current bus fares, and an exemption from the 35 baht fee for each non-airconditioned bus and 60 baht fee for each airconditioned bus which they must pay the BMTA.

They also want the government to rectify the shortage of NGV refuelling points.

”If our calls go unheeded, we must keep our buses idle. We cannot wait even three or four more days,” he said. (Bangkok Post)

What will happen ? Zimbabwe path. The weak government (the corpse is still moving a little bit) is going of course to comply. Inflation is running too high… transports and gasoline are just too explosive issues to handle.

Someone will pay the bill… Of course. And with interests. But later. Like usual.

Nothing changes…

UPDATE
Well… it didn’t take  long ! Exactly like I said.

Deputy permanent secretary to the Transport Ministry Piyapan Champasut stated that the Transport and Energy Ministries will be working together to help bus operators out of the energy crisis. The initial plan is to provide Bangkok city buses with cheap fuel at special fuelling stations.

They are expected to announce details of the plan, to be put in place for six months, at a press conference scheduled on Thursday afternoon.

The ministers will also be holding talks with board members of the BMTA on a request by private operators to waive concession fees to the government. A conclusion is expected by Thursday evening.

2 Responses to “Oil crisis : private bus companies… threaten to stop services”


  1. 1 thaichris 29 May 2008 at 5:09 am

    As predicted:

    ** (BangkokPost.com) –Deputy permanent secretary to the Transport Ministry Piyapan Champasut stated that the Transport and Energy Ministries will be working together to help bus operators out of the energy crisis. The initial plan is to provide Bangkok city buses with cheap fuel at special fuelling stations.

    They are expected to announce details of the plan, to be put in place for six months, at a press conference scheduled on Thursday afternoon.

    The ministers will also be holding talks with board members of the BMTA on a request by private operators to waive concession fees to the government. A conclusion is expected by Thursday evening. **

    Onother short term solution (six month). It what do they do, if the price for diesel goes up further?

    The most happy ones are the bus operators. It took them one single morning to show, who is the ‘man in the house’. And they now it.

    *** Chatchai Chaiwiset, President of the private bus operators’ association, said he didn’t expect so many buses to go on strike. If negotiations cannot be reached with the government by today, he threatened to file a petition calling on Transport Minister Santi Promphat to resign. ***

    How long will this governement last? And I’m not sure, if the big man really want’s to take the command at this point in time. Being the governement, you can only loose. They will let the democrats lead a governement, let them clean up the mess and then take it over again in two, three years. They did that already once (remember good old Chuan?) and it worked perfectly well. It took the democrats nearly 6 years to recover. And in two, three years, the royal issue might also be solved. One less to fight with.

  2. 2 thaicrisis 29 May 2008 at 7:00 am

    I agree with your analysis.

    Apparently they bought 6 months. At one condition of course : that oil stop its upward trend… Otherwise…

    For survival reasons (like you say let’s not forget that economic issues are compounded in Thailand by polical issues…), there is only one path for the gvt : massive subsidy.

    It’s insane, counterproductive sure, but they have no choice.

    It’s what I call the Zimbabwe path.

    They will do it.


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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