The Pattaya bus terminal has decreased trips from roughly forty a day down to three times per day and are currently only going to the Ekkamai bus station due to the Covid-19 situation in Chonburi.
A Pattaya News reporter visited the Rung Rueang Tour Pattaya bus station which used to have roughly forty trips a day to three main bus stations which are Mochit, Ekkamai and the Suvarnabhumi airport bus station.
A staffer at Rung Rueang Tour told The Pattaya News before a recent cluster of Covid-19 infections in the Chonburi area they had more than 40 trips per day and ran many separate buses.
Due to the travel restrictions in Chonburi that require permission from a district official to enter or leave, they have decreased their trips down to three and only to the Ekkamai station at 9:00 A.M., midday and 3:00 P.M.. Only ten passengers are allowed on each bus due to Covid19 social distancing restrictions causing severe economic issues for the bus company and staff. All passengers must show proof of having a letter from district officials showing approval for their trip and that the trip is essential.
As for the routes going to the Mochit and Suvarnabhumi bus stations the service is temporarily suspended until at least the end of this month or until the Covid -19 situation improves in Chonburi, which recorded fourteen cases today, a significant reduction from the past two weeks.
One bus driver who spoke with The Pattaya News, Mr. Prawat Kanjanasorn, said, “Before I used to earn significantly more than this especially in the Pattaya high season. January is traditionally one of the busiest months of the year and this time period is usually full of people both leaving after New Year’s and arriving.”
“However, I am still lucky that I have work and earn some money for my living expenses. My boss also provides a place for me to live. Many other drivers with less seniority have had to pause work for the time being. (furloughed)” Prawat added.
A significant amount of bus terminal staff have had to be temporarily furloughed due to the lack of overall travel and domestic tourism at this time due to Covid-19 restrictions set by the Chonburi Governor and the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration to reduce the potential spread of Covid-19 notes The Pattaya News.
The bus station has also temporarily laid off ticket staff, luggage staff, security, cleaners and multiple other roles due to the situation. Most are informal workers with limited financial options.
The Pattaya News has been covering the effects of the current cluster of Covid-19 cases and their effect on local business on a daily basis.
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