The 1.72-km monorail linking Krung Thon Buri skytrain station to Klong San district office is likely to start running next month.
Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang said on his official Facebook page that the project was 95% complete, with the construction work done and the line now being tested.
He said city commuters would be able to use the first phase of the monorail, also known as the Gold Line, next month if the test run was successful. It has three stations along the route: Krung Thon Buri, Charoen Nakhon and Klong San district office.
“The Gold Line will help improve public transport in the area, which is fast-growing and home to not only high-end property development projects like Iconsiam but also cultural tourism sites,” said the governor.
Designed to serve as a feeder line for passengers wanting to use other public transport, he said the project’s second section from the Klong San district to Wat Anongkaram would link the monorail with the Red Line electric railway extension (Hua Lampong-Bang Bon-Mahachai) and the Purple Line extension (Tao Poon-Ratburana).
Pol Gen Aswin described the Gold Line as a rubber-tyred, self-driving electric train system with reduced noise and vibration levels. Running at a maximum speed of 80kph, the trains have two carriages, each capable of carrying up to 138 passengers.
The system has been developed by Krungthep Thanakom (KT), the business arm of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and will be operated and maintained by BTSC under a 30-year contract.
A flat-rate fare of 15 baht will be charged and the system is expected to serve 42,260 passengers per day in the first year of operation.
KT managing director Manit Techa-apichoke said in June that the Gold Line project was a public-private investment and did not require state funding.
At the same time, the first Bombardier Innovia APM 300 electric train imported from China arrived at Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri, and two other trains arrived last month, all produced in China’s Anhui province.
KT says the service will be financed by fares and revenue from advertising at the stations. Advertisement sales have so far generated about 2 billion baht for the construction of the route, maintenance and hiring of consultants.
Photos by @KTthanakom (from Twitter) of Bangkok’s first train with rubber wheels (Automatic People Mover) which are being tested on the Gold Line. Suvarnabhumi airport also has an APM that will take passengers underground to the new passenger terminal once it opens.