Bangkok public van drivers will launch an indefinite strike on Monday, October 1, to protest a government policy to phase out the vehicles. The Land Transport Department (LTD) is preparing to add 260 buses to service current van routes from the Victory Monument area if the strike is held, though increased traffic congestion, longer public transportation lines, and a shortage of available taxis or tuk-tuks are possible. Routes from Victory Monument, Min Buri, and Rangsit are expected to be the most affected.
A government policy to ban public vans older than ten years old goes into effect on October 1. An estimate 954 vans will be impacted by the policy with an additional 4000 vans set to expire by September 2019. All passenger vans will be phased out by 2028. Currently, approximately 5000 vans service the Bangkok metropolitan area, with an additional 4000 vehicles on interprovincial routes. The policy is an attempt to encourage operators and riders to switch to minibuses or other public transportation options, such as the SkyTrain or MRT.
Individuals in Bangkok and the surrounding areas are advised to monitor the situation and anticipate transportation delays.
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