The long proposed and discussed Phuket Light Rail from the north to the south of the island has been officially paused for what relevant agencies call a project budget review.
The Mass Rapid Transport Authority (MRTA) has been working towards introducing a Phuket Light Rail or TRAM Phuket project for many years. The previous plan for construction started in 2020 and was supposedly projected to be ready to use in 2023. However, the project is now significantly behind schedule.
The latest update is that the MRTA has ordered for a review of the project for the first phase from the Phuket International Airport in the north to the Chalong Circle in the south which is about 42 kilometers. The project is aimed to solve traffic problems and to service residents and tourists with better public transportation.
The director of the MRTA Mr. Pakapong Sirikantamart told The Phuket Express, “As of the current situation, the Ministry of Transportation wants to decrease the budget as much as they can. The proposal to reduce the budget is to best suit people, service, and a suitable service fee. Our aim for the consumer fee for the service will be about 20 baht to 40 baht when completed.”
“Many people are afraid that only tourists will use the TRAM not locals or residents due to pricing. A previous study stated that the rail will use a model fee similar to Bangkok which increases due to the distance and number of stations that the train stops at. However, we now aim to have a standard fee that should be different and divided into zones.” Pakapong concluded.
There was no set timeline announced for how long the pause would last notes The Phuket Express.