Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul observed preparations for free bus rides between Victory Monument and Sanam Luang for the people traveling to mourn the late King Rama IX at the Grand Palace.
The tourism minister visited a bus station in front of Rajavithi hospital near Victory Monument which is the starting point of the shuttle bus rides for the general public who wish to visit the Grand Place to pay homage to the late His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
She said the free bus service is being provided by the Tourism Authority of Thailand with additional bus rides from the National Stadium, Southern Bus Terminal and Krung Thonburi BTS station to Sanam Luang. A fleet of 500 buses are now running in four routes to serve passengers from 07:30 a.m. to 05.00 p.m. daily free of charge.
About 160,000 passengers have already used the free shuttle buses since 17 October. An average of 50,000 passengers have used the free buses daily since 22 October.
The Bureau of the Royal Household will allow the general public to pay homage before the royal urn of the late monarch in Dusit Maha Prasat throne hall inside the Grand Place from 29 October.
The tourism ministry is distributing black ribbons and brooches to the general public at major shopping malls and immigration checkpoints, expecting foreign visitors to participate in the mourning. Name tags will be provided for children with contact information in case they get lost in the area.