Bangkok Mass Transit System awaits word on Green Line deal
The Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) are waiting for clarification from the Interior Ministry on the concession contract of the Green Line.
Surapong Laoha-Unya, chief operating officer of BTSC, recently said the BTS Skytrain concession extension for the line was approved in principle by the cabinet during a meeting on Tuesday. Mr Surapong said the ministry is preparing documents to clarify matters as requested during the meeting by attendees.
He said if the contract is officially renewed, BTSC will bear the BMA’s 100 million baht debt in exchange for the right to operate the skytrain for 30 more years, until 2059. The BMA owes the BTSC money over a number of ventures and properties, including 8 billion baht from the Green Line extension.
Mr Surapong said the fare will be capped at 65 baht per trip, which some may criticise as too expensive when compared with Blue Line’s 42 baht per trip.
He said the fare will be more expensive because the Green Line has 58 stations along its 67-kilometre stretch while the Blue Line only has 38 stations along its 48-km route.
Currently, the BMA has hired BTSC under a contract to operate the southern Green Line section, Bearing-Samrong; the northern stretch, Mo Chit-Wat Phra Sri Mahathat; the Silom Line’s Saphan Taksin-Wongwian Yai-Bang Wa; and the Green Line’s On Nut-Bearing.
The BTSC earlier urged the BMA to pay for the operation of the Green Line extension and warned there might be disruption to the service if it doesn’t.
Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang says the BMA does not have the 8 billion baht the BTSC wants and would have to ask the government to help out since the BMA was told to provide the train service free of charge.