A public van operators association is calling for a two-year extension to the service life of old passenger vans due to be pulled off roads in September, citing the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Chuchart Nueayen, an adviser to the Provincial Van Business Operators Association, and Boonsong Srisakul, its vice-president, on Friday handed a letter to Manoch Saychooto, vice-president in charge of bus operations management of Transport Co, asking for the extension for more than 4,000 public vans operating in the provinces.
They will be 10 years old and are due to be pulled off roads in September in accordance with a policy introduced by the previous government.
The Department of Land Transport has ordered that public vans more than 10 years old be decommissioned and that new vans must not be permitted to be registered as public service vehicles, to improve safety.
The aim is to replace the nation’s fleet of more than 12,000 vans with new minibuses by 2028.
The policy has drawn flak from van operators.
Mr Chuchart said yesterday that van operators have suffered an economic impact caused by the pandemic during the past five months.
They have been severely cash-strapped and cannot afford to buy minibuses, he said.
If the pandemic and economic woes ease, they will agree to comply with the policy, Mr Chuchart said.