Commuters may be able to ride the Skytrain to Samrong by early 2017, the Transport Ministry and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration said Monday.
The projected start date resulted from three-party talks between the ministry, BMA and Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand to prepare for the transfer of construction to City Hall.
The MRTA is responsible for the construction of two lines: Bearing to Samut Prakan for 13 kilometres, and Mor Chit to Ku Kot for 19 kilometres. The two routes will connect with the BTS’ Sukhumvit line.
The line from Bearing to Samut Prakan is being built in phases with the section from Bearing to Samrong to be completed first. The construction of another line from Mor Chit to Ku Kot will begin soon.
Soithip Traisuddhi, permanent secretary for transport, said after the meeting that the three parties agreed to sign a preliminary agreement by the end of this month.
The pact will commit the MRTA and BMA to the plan. It also requires City Hall to pay the MRTA about 60 million baht for construction in exchange for its ownership and rights to the two lines.
Mrs Soithip and Thaweesak Lertpraphan, director of the Traffic and Transportation Department of the BMA, said the BMA could open Samrong as the first station in the Samut Prakan extension in late 2016 or early 2017. Additional stations will open progressively over time.
“It requires at least a year for a test-run even with only one station,” said Mr Thaweesak, adding that the BMA will survey the section from Bearing to Samrong in October or November.
The BMA has not announced the operator of the two lines, but BTS is expected to be the frontrunner as the lines connect to each end of its Sukhumvit route.