Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Mass Rapid Transit Authority board to open direct negotiation with operator of the Blue Line electric train service to run the two Blue Line extensions in order to speed up the rail service operation and fix the missing one kilometre connection of the Purple Line rail service.
The order, invoked by the prime minister under Section 44 of the interim constitution, was published in the Royal Gazette yesterday.
According to Bangkok Post, the move was to ensure no operational delays and ensure connection of the rail services operated by different operators.
Under the order, Gen Prayut told the MRT board to draw up revenue-sharing proposals and other related criteria for use in negotiating with Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM), the Blue Line operator,to run two extended routes of the Blue Line – Bang Sue-Thaphra, and Hua Lampong-Bang Khae.
This step must be completed within 30 days after which the proposals must be forwarded to the transport minister for approval in no more than 15 days.
Once the transport minister endorses the proposals, the committee responsible for selecting the operator of the extended routes and a supervising committee are required to consider installation of rail systems for the extended routes within 30 days.
Following this, the MRTA is authorised to begin negotiating with the Blue Line operator to operate the extended routes and to amend the existing Blue Line operations contract to ensure management consistency.
Currently BEM is operating the Blue Line from Hua Lampong to Bang Sue.
It is also operating the Purple Line linking Tao Poon station with Bang Yai station in Nonthaburi.
However from Tao Poon station to Bang Sue, there is no rail connection on a one kilometre stretch.
But with the order of the prime minister, it was clear that the missing section would be soon connected and BEM would link the two services, the Blue Line and Purple Line, together.