BTS Skytrain on Friday began its first day of service for the extension from On Nut to Bearing stations to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday on Aug 12.
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra presided over the inauguration ceremony to mark the official start of operations for the extension.
The route extends the Sukhumvit line, which until today ended at On Nut station. The new stations include Bang Chak, Punnawithi (near Soi Sukumvit 101), Udom Suk, Bang Na and Bearing stations, with a total distance of approximately 5.25 kilometres.
The extension will remain open for service without charges until Jan 1, 2012, when a new fare structure is expected to be initiated.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) invested over Bt50 billion in the extension. Construction began in 2006.
Gov Sukhumbhand said that the extension would help facilitate travel for Bangkok commuters and that the service is expected to be used by about 120,000 people daily.
Fares will be charged beginning Jan 2, but the governor said it had not yet been decided whether it would be Bt15 or Bt20. He said he personally wanted BTS to charge a Bt15 flat rate for all five stations.
The Bangkok Mass Transit System Company, which manages the Skytrain routes, expects a 10-per cent increase in the number of passengers. Currently, there are about 500,000 daily commuters on weekdays and about 470,000 on the weekend. (MCOT online news)