With the current launch of Pokemon Go in Thailand the public transportation authorities (BMTA & BTS) have voiced their concerns over decreasing numbers of commuters. Therefore the authorities fear dropping revenues and are considering several options to at least maintain their current income. The increase of ticket fares seems to be on the table as well as other, more ‘interesting’, options.
The BMTA (MRT, Busses) and BTS rely heavily on commuters needing public transport and on the fact that people living in Thailand easily adapt to the sabai sabai lifestyle and therefore become too lazy to walk to their destinations. Pokemon Go could change all that. With more incentives (Pokemons) out there to actually walk many would-be commuters might rather use their own feet to reach their respective destinations and to catch Pokemons rathers than trains on their way to or from work.
With around 35 million LINE messaging application users Thailand is expected to make a huge impact on the Pokemon community and Niantic Labs, the evil genius (are they connected to evil corp, Mr. Robot?) behind Pokemon Go, surely expects Thailand to add another few million to the already over 50 million downloads of the game on the Google play store alone.
BMTA and BTS to reduce maximum speed of vehicles in public transport
With the decreasing profit in sight and with the private sector already behind the craze (you can book pokemon go tours with almost every tuk tuk, taxi or travel company) the public transportation authorities in Bangkok now came up with a few ideas that they hope will take pokemon hunters back onto the ‘right’ tracks. Starting on August 15, just when the new semester for many students starts, public transportation, be it underground trains, skytrains or busses, will decrease their speed so that passengers get the chance to catch pokemon, visit pokestops and check out gyms while they are on board said vehicles.
“This might result in longer commute periods but certainly will get more people into our public transportation system again. This also means less people walking on the street and hence less accidents due to pokemon go. The fares then only have to increase for about 3% compared to the first thought about 7.5%” – Wichut Tamagotchai was heard saying.
So this is the ‘secret’ plan on how public transport will lure (pun intended) pokemon go players back into their cycle. Will it work? Will they catch them all those commuters?
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