Thai Smile Bus has ambitions this year to nearly increase its fleet of electric buses to 3,100 and expand its coverage to 122 routes in order to become Bangkok’s largest bus operator. The privately held firm now runs 1,250 electric buses on 71 routes in the capital city.
The expansion is enabled by the Department of Land Transport’s bus route reform, which allowed private operators to employ electric vehicles on 77 additional routes in the larger Bangkok metropolitan region. Thai Smile Bus was awarded permission to run 71 of these routes, while two other operators were granted permission to operate the other routes.
Thai Smile Bus also stated that it provided electric buses to other private bus operators on 45 of the 53 routes that previously utilized diesel buses.
Thai Smile Bus will be able to reach the Department of Land Transport’s aim of expanding the number of public buses by 1,850 this year by recruiting more drivers and purchasing more vehicles.
This measure, which is projected to reduce air pollution and provide a more affordable transit option for commuters, is consistent with Thailand’s drive to employ sustainable energy for public transportation, as stated by Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob in January.
The government praised Thai Smile Bus’s support for the use of sustainable energy to minimize pollution and provide transportation choices for Bangkok commuters.