Government mulling ways to keep prices down
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he was pleased with the collaboration of all agencies involved in building the Yellow Line monorail, which began its free-to-use trial run this month.
“I’d like to thank the Transport Ministry, Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA), Interior Ministry and every agency and individual who worked on the project. It’s been one that has involved many sectors, including basic utilities on expropriated land,” Gen Prayut told media after joining the Yellow Line test run.
“The government will later plan railway connections in the form of a spider’s web, as well as consider a joint-ticketing system for rail services to lower costs for commuters, with an estimated start of 15 baht and cap at 45 baht.”
Asked if fare collection on the Yellow Line would start on July 3, the premier said the matter needs to be discussed with the cabinet first. When asked about the joint-ticketing system, he said the Transport Ministry has already been informed and will also discuss it at the cabinet meeting.
The Yellow Line is part of the main railway network development project in Bangkok and its adjacent provinces. It was constructed to connect Lat Phrao in Bangkok with Samrong in Samut Prakan, with 23 stations along a 30.4-kilometre line.
Thailand’s first driverless straddle-type monorail runs on concrete beams and can accommodate a maximum of seven carriages.
The MRTA began its monorail Yellow Line free-to-use trial run on June 3, which lasts until the end of this month. The line’s operating hours were extended to 6am-8pm to take passengers during the morning and evening rush hours.
The line interchanges with other city trains, such as the MRT, BTS and Airport Rail Link. It is expected to help ease congestion on Srinakarin Road and Lat Phrao Road. Soon the Yellow Line will be connected to the Orange Line via Yaek Lam Sali Station.
The cabinet gave the MRTA the nod to proceed with the project’s construction in March 2016. The Eastern Bangkok Monorail (EBM), an affiliate of the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, holds the line’s concession until 2053. A concession contract was signed with the EBM in June 2017, with a construction budget of 48.1 billion baht.