BTS launches free rides for points after cancelling monthly deal

BTS Skytrain rolled out its new promotion in which members can use points to redeem free rides as a “more flexible” option for passengers, the company said Monday, after it stopped offering bundles of fixed-price tickets with a one-month validity.

Members of Rabbit Rewards, BTS’s e-wallet service, can use their points collected from purchasing BTS tickets and items from participating merchants to redeem free rides, said Surapong Laoha-Unya, president of BTS operator Bangkok Mass Transit System. 

The promotion will run from November 1 until October 31 next year, with double points awarded in the first three months.

The goal is to provide “flexibility to various lifestyles of passengers,” said Surapong, as there is no need for payment in advance and no concern about using all remaining rides before they expire as in the prior monthly offer.

The monthly passes are a promotion that passengers pay in advance to get a fixed price per trip regardless of distance traveled for 30 days. BTS stopped selling them last month given the Covid-19 has altered passenger behaviour, triggering public backlash.

According to BTS, points will be collected from at least four trips per week, more than five stations each, as 150 points. Adult passengers can redeem from 250 points for one free ride to 2,000 points for 10. 

The Thailand Consumers Council previously created a survey to gather BTS passengers’ hardships following the cancellation of the monthly passes, urging authorities to take action against rising transport fees. 

The halt of the monthly passes “is considered taking advantage of consumers who do not have bargaining power,” the council said. Those who work near skytrain lines are burdened by doubled travel costs, it added.

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